Holy Week begins on this Sunday, Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. During Holy Week, the Church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ in the last days of his life on earth, beginning with his entrance into Jerusalem. Lent concludes and the Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. The ceremonies of Holy Week celebrate the very core of our Christian faith, the Passion, death and Resurrection of Christ. They are the ultimate sign of God’s love for each one of us, a love shown in service to humanity.
You may wish to broadcast the following liturgies (all times local to Rome) which have been published by the Vatican regarding the celebrations that Pope Francis will preside over for Holy Week and Easter 2017:
- On Palm Sunday, 9 April, Pope Francis will lead a procession for the blessing of the olive and palm branches in Saint Peter’s Square, Rome, starting at 10.00am, and then celebrate the Mass of Our Lord’s Passion. Palm Sunday also marks the XXXII World Youth Day with the theme taken from Saint Luke’s Gospel ‘The Mighty One has done great things for me’.
- On Holy Thursday 13 April Pope Francis will preside at the Chrism Mass with the blessing of the holy oils in Saint Peter’s Basilica, starting at 9.30am.
- On Good Friday, 14 April, Pope Francis will lead the celebration of Our Lord’s Passion in Saint Peter’s Basilica, beginning at 5.00pm. That will be followed at 9.15pm by the traditional Via Crucis – or Way of the Cross – at the Colosseum, after which Pope Francis will greet the crowds and impart his Apostolic Blessing.
- On Holy Saturday 15 April the Holy Father will celebrate the Easter Vigil in Saint Peter’s Basilica beginning at 8.30pm with the blessing of the new fire and a procession with the Paschal candle. During the celebration he will administer the Sacrament of Baptism before concelebrating Mass with the other cardinals and bishops.
- On Easter morning, Sunday 16 April, beginning at 10.00am, Pope Francis will preside at the Mass of Our Lord’s Resurrection in Saint Peter’s Square before giving his ‘Urbi et Orbi’ blessing (to the city of Rome and to the world) from the central balcony of Saint Peter’s Basilica.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444