Catholics around the world and throughout the eight-county Diocese of Cleveland are preparing to observe Holy Week, the holiest week of the year.
Holy Week liturgical celebrations will begin on Palm Sunday, April 14. Bishop Nelson Perez will be the celebrant and homilist at the 10:30 a.m. Mass that day at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, East Ninth Street and Superior Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The liturgy commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the proclamation of the Passion. Palms are blessed and distributed that day.
The diocesan chrism Mass will take place at 7 p.m. April 16 at the cathedral. Bishop Perez will be the celebrant and homilist. At this Mass, the bishop will bless the oil of the catechumens and the oil of the sick as well as consecrate the oil of the sacred chrism. These holy oils will be used throughout the diocese during the coming year in the celebration of the sacraments. This special Mass will be streamed live on the diocesan website, dioceseofcleveland.org. All diocesan priests, as well as priests of religious communities serving in the Diocese of Cleveland, will gather to concelebrate with the bishop and to renew their priestly promises.
At 7 p.m. on Holy Thursday, April 18, Bishop Perez will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. He also will be the homilist. This Mass commemorates the Last Supper, during which Christ instituted the sacrament of the holy Eucharist, the sacrament of holy orders and gave us his commandment to love one another. After the homily, following the example of Christ who washed the feet of the apostles at the Last Supper, Bishop Perez will wash the feet of several individuals.
On Good Friday, April 19, the bishop will participate in the annual procession beginning at noon at Sagrada Familia Parish, 7719 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. He will walk with the group to St. Colman Church, 2027 W. 65th St., Cleveland, and then return to the cathedral, where he will be the celebrant and homilist at the Good Friday Passion of the Lord at 3 p.m. This solemn liturgy commemorates the Passion and death of Jesus and will include adoration of the cross.
Bishop Perez will be the celebrant and homilist at the Easter Vigil at 8:30 p.m. Holy Saturday, April 20, at the cathedral. This liturgy has four components: service of light (blessing of the fire and lighting of the paschal candle), Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism and the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
After a reflective and intense period of prayer during Lent, the elect (those who have not been baptized) and candidates (those who will make a profession of faith in the Catholic Church and receive the sacraments of confirmation and Eucharist) will become full members of the Catholic Church. These sacraments of initiation also are celebrated at parishes throughout the diocese on this night.
The resurrection of the Lord will be celebrated on Easter Sunday, April 21. Masses will be at 8 and 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.
Click HERE to review the Holy Week schedule at the cathedral, including confession times.