Hundreds To Be Baptized During Holy Week And Easter Celebrations

Among The Events: Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday Washing Of The Feet And Easter Vigil Fire

April 06, 2011

Thousands of Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Washington will observe the death and resurrection of Christ during Holy Week and Easter services, and nearly 1,200 adults, teens and children will be baptized or confirmed Catholic this week. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, will lead a number of liturgies:

Sunday, April 17, 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 18, 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 from throughout the Archdiocese of Washington will celebrate this annual Mass commemorating the founding of the priesthood by Christ. During Mass, special oils that all parishes in the Archdiocese will use to administer the Sacraments during the upcoming year will be consecrated.

Wednesday, April 20, 6:30 p.m.: The Light is On
All churches in the Archdiocese of Washington and Diocese of Arlington will be open for confessions from 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. as part of “The Light is On for You” initiative. More information is available at www.TheLightIsOn.org.

Thursday, April 21, 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.

Friday, April 22, 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, according to legend, Helen, the mother of Constantine, discovered the true cross in Jerusalem.

Friday, April 22, 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 Ave. through the heart of Dupont Circle carrying statues and singing. 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 they head into the church for a Spanish-language Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion and Veneration of the Cross.

Saturday, April 23, 8:00 p.m.: Easter Vigil Mass (starts with fire on front steps)
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 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 24: 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 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 NBC-owned and affiliated stations through the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission (IBC).

Contact:
Brie Hall
Office of Communications
301-853-4512
[email protected]