Father Thomas S. Willis, pastor of Cathedral Parish, has announced to local St Augustine and St Johns County reporters at Historic City News the times for services during Holy Week at Cathedral Basilica.
These days are considered the holiest by Christianity as they celebrate and remember the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
On Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, the Vigil Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, March 24, Masses will at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at the Cathedral. Mass will also be held at St. Benedict the Moor Church (86 Martin Luther King Ave.) at 8:00 a.m.
The Most Reverend Felipe Estévez, Bishop of St. Augustine, will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the annual Mass of the Chrism on Wednesday, March 27 at 11:00 a.m. At this liturgy, the holy oils used in the celebrations of the sacraments are blessed. The Mass is concelebrated by the priests of the Diocese who will reaffirm their commitment to priestly service.
On Holy Thursday, March 28, the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. in the Cathedral. This liturgy begins the Sacred Triduum – the three days of remembering the saving deeds of the Lord. At this Mass, Bishop Estévez will wash the feet of 12 Cathedral parishioners in remembrance of Jesus’ washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper.
For Good Friday, March 29, the principal liturgy for the day is the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at 3:00 p.m. This service includes the proclamation of the passion, veneration of the cross and distribution of Holy Communion. On Good Friday evening, Stations of the Cross will be held at 7:00 p.m.
On Holy Saturday, March 30, Bishop Estévez will be the principal celebrant for the Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m. This is the primary liturgy of the Church’s liturgical year and includes the lighting of the new fire, solemn Liturgy of the Word, and the celebrations of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist.
On Easter Sunday, March 31, Masses at the Cathedral will be at 7:00, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Mass will also be celebrated at St. Benedict the Moor Church on Martin Luther King Avenue at 8:00 a.m.
Two Masses will be celebrated on the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at the Rustic Altar on Easter Sunday. First, there will be a sunrise Mass at 7:00 a.m. followed by an additional Mass at 10:00 a.m. Some seating will be provided but those who attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
To conclude the liturgical celebrations of Holy Week and the Triduum, Bishop Estévez will be the principal celebrant for Paschal Vespers on Easter Sunday at 6:00 p.m. in the Cathedral.