Holy Week Schedule Announced

April 01, 2004

Christians around the world will celebrate Holy Week April 4-10, and Easter on April 11. Here in Washington, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, will lead liturgies throughout the week. This year’s schedule includes an April 7 Mass commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide:

Sunday, April 4: Palm Sunday Mass
9:45 a.m., Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

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

Monday, April 5: Chrism Mass to Mark Founding of the Priesthood
7:00 p.m., Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Cardinal McCarrick and priests from throughout the Archdiocese of Washington will celebrate this annual Mass, commemorating the founding of the priesthood by Christ. Also, special oils that all parishes in the Archdiocese will use to administer the Sacraments during the upcoming year will be consecrated during the Mass, then poured into containers for the priests to take back to their parishes.

Wednesday, April 7: Mass Commemorating 10th Anniversary of Rwanda Genocide
3:30 p.m., Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Crypt Church, 400 Michigan Ave., NE

Cardinal McCarrick will celebrate a Mass to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. In a 100-day period beginning April 7, 1994, nearly one million Rwandans were killed, two million fled to neighboring countries and 300,000 children were orphaned or separated from their families.

Representatives from the Rwandan embassy and community, members of the diplomatic corps and executives and staff of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) will attend. CRS, which is co-sponsoring the Mass with the Archdiocese of Washington, has provided development assistance and emergency relief in Rwanda since 1963. As a result of its experience in that nation, CRS has developed a new emphasis on peace-building. Music for the Mass will be provided by the St. Camillus Multicultural Choir, Rwandan Community Choir and Signature Heritage Chorale.

Thursday, April 8: Holy Thursday, Mass of the Lord’s Supper
5:30 p.m., 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 McCarrick will wash the feet of 12 men, 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 procession to a side chapel, where people will pray until midnight.

Friday, April 9: Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion and Veneration of the Cross
1:00 p.m. (English) / 3:45 p.m. (Greet Participants from Via Crucis),
Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Please note: No Masses are celebrated in Catholic churches on Good Friday.

Cardinal McCarrick 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, according to legend, Helen, the mother of Constantine, discovered the true cross in Jerusalem.

At 3:45 p.m., he will greet Latino Catholics as they arrive at St. Matthew’s for prayer after participating in a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession. That procession will start at Our Lady Queen of the Americas, 2200 California St., NW at 2:30 p.m. and move down Connecticut Avenue to St. Matthew’s.

Saturday, April 10: Easter Vigil Mass
8:30 p.m., 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.

Cardinal McCarrick will light an Easter fire on the main steps of the darkened cathedral, surrounded by 16 people who will be baptized and 14 adults will be confirmed Catholic during the Mass. From that fire, a large Paschal candle, then small candles held by the congregation, will be lit one by one until the church is full of candlelight. Eventually, as the Gloria is sung, the cathedral lights will be turned on as the celebration of Christ’s coming resurrection begins.

Sunday, April 11: Easter Sunday Mass
10:00 a.m., Cathedral of St. Matthew, 1725 Rhode Island Ave., NW, Washington, DC

Cardinal McCarrick will celebrate Easter Mass at the Cathedral.

Sunday, April 11: Easter Sunday Mass
Noon, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave., NE, Washington, DC

Cardinal McCarrick will celebrate Easter Mass at the Basilica.

Contact:
Susan Gibbs
Office of Communications
301-853-4515
[email protected]