Cardinal Wuerl Celebrates Palm Sunday Mass, Marks the Start of Holy Week

“Our annual journey of faith begins today as we see with the lens of faith the mystery and reality of God with us.”

April 01, 2012

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, marked the start of Holy Week by blessing palm branches this Palm Sunday in memory of Christ’s triumphant journey into Jerusalem. The Cardinal celebrated Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle following the blessing of the palms. The festive tone that accompanied the blessing of the palms changed to a more somber tone during Mass as the Passion of Christ, which relays the story of Christ’s suffering and death, was read.

In his homily, Cardinal Wuerl reminded the faithful, “Even more than retelling the story, the liturgies of Holy Week make the story of our redemption come alive through images, rituals and striking ceremonies.” He continued by saying that the Church calls us not just to a commemoration of the events of two thousand years ago, but “also to enter the mystery itself. We are not bystanders, but rather participants. We don’t just remember the events of our salvation; we don’t just become emotionally involved in the re-presentation. We actually are incorporated spiritually, mystically, sacramentally into the effects of the very saving actions of Jesus.”

“We arrive at this Palm Sunday aware that each of us is on our own personal faith journey; our own pilgrimage that we hope leads us through whatever sufferings we endure to the glory of the Easter garden,” said the Cardinal. He continued, “This is not the easiest time to be recognized as a person of faith. This is a culture where religious faith is increasingly dismissed and people of faith are expected to be less visible. Yet we also know that living our faith and visibly bearing testimony to it can have wonderful effects.”

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 600,000 Catholics, 140 parishes and 98 Catholic schools, located in Washington, DC, and five Maryland counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.

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