Cardinal Wuerl to Celebrate Several Holy Week and Easter Events

Among the events: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday Washing of the Feet and Easter Vigil Fire

March 29, 2012

Thousands of Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Washington will observe the death and resurrection of Christ during Holy Week and Easter services, and more than 1,100 adults, teens and children will be baptized or confirmed Catholic this week. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will lead a number of liturgies. Also, the Archdiocese of Washington will hold bi-lingual events.

Sunday, April 1, 9:45 a.m.: Palm Sunday Mass
Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Cardinal Wuerl will bless palm branches in memory of Christ’s triumphant journey to Jerusalem, 9:45 a.m., and then celebrate Mass at 10:00 a.m. During Mass, the Passion story will be read.

Monday, April 2, 7:00 p.m.: Chrism Mass to Mark Founding of the Priesthood
Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Cardinal Wuerl and hundreds of priests will celebrate this annual Mass commemorating the founding of the priesthood by Christ. During Mass, special oils will be consecrated that all parishes in the archdiocese will use to administer the Sacraments during the upcoming year.

Wednesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m.: The Light is On
All churches in the Archdiocese of Washington and Diocese of Arlington will be open for confessions as part of “The Light is On for You” initiative. More information is available at www.TheLightIsOn.org.

Thursday, April 5, 5:30 p.m.: Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

During this Mass, which starts the Triduum (the three final days before Easter), Cardinal Wuerl will wash the feet of 12 people, as Christ washed the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper. After Mass, the altar and sanctuary will be stripped of all ornamentation to prepare for Good Friday, the day Christ died on the cross, and the Eucharist will be moved in solemn procession to a side chapel. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will be held until 10:00 p.m.

Friday, April 6, 1:00 p.m.: Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion and Veneration of the Cross
Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Please note: No Masses are celebrated in Catholic churches on Good Friday.
Cardinal Wuerl will preside at a Liturgy of the Word and Veneration of the Cross. During the Veneration of the Cross, the people will come forward to kiss a crucifix, recalling Christ’s death for our salvation. The tradition dates back to the late 4th century when Helen, the mother of Constantine, is believed to have discovered the true cross in Jerusalem.

Friday, April 6, 2:00 p.m.: Via Crucis
Starting Point: Our Lady, Queen of the Americas, 2200 California St., NW, Washington, DC
Ending Point: Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Thousands of area Catholics, mostly Latino, will take to the streets for traditional Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) processions on Good Friday in remembrance of Christ’s crucifixion. Nearly 200 Latino Catholics will “walk in the footsteps of Christ” to his crucifixion at Mount Calvary as they wind down Connecticut Avenue. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will greet the people on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Matthew at 3:45 p.m. as the participants arrive for a Spanish-language Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion and Veneration of the Cross.

Saturday, April 7, 8:00 p.m.: Easter Vigil Mass
Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Please note: No Masses are celebrated in Catholic Churches this day until the evening Vigil.
In an ancient rite, a giant fire will be lit on the steps of the Cathedral of St. Matthew to symbolize the resurrection of Christ, the light of the world. From that fire, candles held by the more than 1,000 members of the congregation will be lit one by one until the darkened church is full of candlelight. As the Gloria is sung, the cathedral lights will be turned on as the celebration of Christ’s coming resurrection will begin. Adults preparing to become Catholic will be baptized and confirmed during the Mass, and at Masses throughout the Archdiocese of Washington. Cardinal Wuerl will celebrate the Mass at the Cathedral.

Sunday, April 8: Easter Sunday Masses
10:00 a.m., Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

12:00 noon, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, DC
Cardinal Wuerl will celebrate two Easter Sunday Masses: 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Matthew and Noon at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and the Catholic Channel (Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 159 and XM Satellite Radio Channel 117) will broadcast live the noon Mass, celebrated by Cardinal Wuerl.

A Mass celebrated by Cardinal Wuerl will also air on ABC-owned and affiliated stations across the nation through the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC).

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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