Holy Week, the most solemn week in the Church, is underway. The sacred triduum, which commemorates the Lord’s Passion, Crucifixion and Resurrection -- begins on Holy Thursday and ends with evening prayer on Easter. The triduum includes the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday; the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday; the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night and the Easter liturgy, which celebrates the Resurrection.
Because of the ongoing health crisis, Father Don Oleksiak, diocesan administrator, will celebrate a private Mass at 4 p.m. on Holy Thursday, April 9 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. Father Dan Schlegel, vicar for clergy and religious, will be the homilist. The Mass will be streamed live on the diocesan website, as will the rest of the triduum.
In addition, the Easter Sunday Mass also will be broadcast live on radio station WTAM 1100 AM.
Father Oleksiak will preside at a private celebration of the Passion liturgy at 3 p.m. on Good Friday, April 10, in the cathedral. Homilist will be Father Sean Ralph, cathedral rector.
The Easter Vigil, also a privately celebrated Mass, will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Holy Saturday, April 11, in the cathedral. Father Oleksiak will be the celebrant and Father John Manning, delegate for senior priests, will be the homilist.
Father Oleksiak will celebrate a private Mass at 9:30 a.m. on Easter Sunday, April 12, in the cathedral. He also will preach the homily.
The faithful are encouraged to participate in the sacred triduum. Each liturgy will be livestreamed on the diocesan website and will be available to watch on demand once the live broadcast concludes.
In addition to the livestreamed liturgies, pre-recorded Stations of the Cross – also from the cathedral -- will be broadcast at noon on Good Friday on the diocesan website.
The faithful are reminded Good Friday is a day of fast and abstinence, despite the suspension of publicly celebrated liturgies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Those ages 18-59 are obligated to fast, with one full meal permitted and two smaller meals that together do not equal a full meal, according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Abstinence from meat is required for Catholics age 14 and older.