Holy Week is a time to join with other in our journey closer to Christ and his life and suffering.
Our Holy Week journey starts with Palm Sunday, a day of rejoicing and joy. This day commemorates the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. For many this day is second to only the joyful celebration that is Easter. Take home your blessed palms and put them in a special place in your home. Let them be a reminder of our faith in Jesus Christ, and his impending death and resurrection. Your blessed palms are sacramentals and as such are to b treated with respect and reverence. You may decide to form them in the shape of a cross, or place them behind your crucifix. In our house they often end up behind a picture frame or in a vase on a bookcase at our hous. Palm Sunday Masses will be on Sunday April 9 at 8 am, 10am 12 noon and 5pm.
We are doubly blessed on Palm Sunday because here in Tulsa we have the opportunity to attend Tenebre. If you have never gone to Tenebre you are in for a surprise. Tenebre has as its overriding theme the descent into darkness that occurs when Jesus dies. Tenebre is celebrated in the context of vespers, but in this instance as the service continues the church progressively gets darker, until only one candle is left. That candle then exits the church, leaving the entire cathedral in darkness. In the darkness a tremendous noise is made by those who attend when they bang their hymnals on the pews. Kids usually look forward to this one occasion that they can make noise in church. Tenebre will be April 9, at 7:30 pm.
The Chrism Mass is a mass that is unique to the Cathedral. At this mass clergy and representatives for parishes all around the Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma gather to receive the oils that will be used in baptisms, confirmations and other sacraments throughout the year. Our Bishop. Bishop David Konderla will bless these oils for distribution. This is a diocesan wide event but all are welcome to attend. If you have never been to a Chrism Mass you should make plans to go at least once. There will be no Wednesdays at the Cathedral this week instead all are welcome to attend the Chrism Mass at 5:30 pm April 11th.
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper . The first day of the Triduum This day is so special to Catholics because it is on this day Christ began the celebration of the eucharist and instituted the priesthood. The mass of Holy Thursday also includes the ritual of washing feet. This is the last mass said until the Easter Vigil, Good Friday is considered to be a continuation of this mass, for this reason there is no dismal of the faithful, instead the eucharist is moved to the altar of repose where it will be kept until Good Friday. We are all invited to spend some time in quiet with Jesus in the form of the Eucharist just as the disciples stayed with Jesus in the garden. Holy Thursday Mass will be celebrated at 7pm, Thursday April 13. The Cathedral will remain open until midnight for silent adoration.
Good Friday – This day is set aside to remember the death of our Lord, Jesus. We have Stations of the Cross at 3 pm in remembrance of the passion and death of our Lord. It is believed that Jesus hung on the cross from noon until his death at 3 pm. Good Friday continues at 7 pm. The service on Good Friday is a continuation of the mass begun at Holy Thursday. The focus on Good Friday is Liturgy of the Word with psalms reflecting Christ’s suffering and John’s Passion. Every year on Good Friday only John’s Gospel is read. Good Friday is set apart from every other mass of the year by its lack of the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Good Friday again ends in silence because it is not really an ending, it will continue with the Easter Vigil on Saturday Good Friday Services will be held Friday April 14 at 7pm
Easter Vigil – Our Holy Week concludes with this the third and final evening in the Easter Triduum. Holy Saturday is the bookend to Tenebrea starting in darkness and ending in the light that represents the Light of Christ.. The Easter Vigil begins outside the church as we light the light that will dispel the darkness. The flame created here will be brought into the dark Cathedral passed on to everyone as they enter and used to light the Easter Candle. Water is blessed to be used for all of the rites of initiation that will take place tonight and throughout the Easter season, as we welcome our brothers and sisters into communion with the church. The Easter Vigil is celebrated at 8:30 pm on Saturday April 15.
Easter Sunday The Holiest of all days in the Catholic Church. There is a saying that goes “many babies were born but only ONE rose from the dead.” On Easter Sunday we continue the celebration that began at the Easter Vigil. Our Alleluia returns as does our joy in the face of the Risen Christ. Easter Sunday masses will be celebrated at 8am 10am 12noon and 5pm. Our youth who have been preparing for confirmation will be confirmed at 12 noon.