A Guide to Holy Week

Catholics throughout the Diocese of St. Augustine are preparing themselves for liturgical celebrations for Holy Week, the most solemn week on the church’s calendar.

The following is a calendar of Holy Week liturgical celebrations presided by Bishop Estévez

April 10
Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Holy Week began yesterday on Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. Bishop Estévez celebrated the Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine followed by a procession to St. Augustine’s Municipal Marina for the tradition of blessing the fleet.

April 12
Bishop Estévez will hear confessions and celebrate Mass for inmates at the All Souls Chapel of Union Correctional Institution, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. 

April 13
Chrism Mass, 11:00 a.m., Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine
Clergy, religious, and laity of the Diocese of St. Augustine will gather for the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. During the liturgy, Bishop Estévez will bless the sacred oils that will be distributed to all parishes in the diocese for use in the coming year. Also, during the Mass, priests of the diocese reaffirm their commitment to priestly service. All are invited to this beautiful diocesan celebration, but seating will be limited so get there early. The Mass will also be livestreamed on the diocesan website dosafl.com/livestream, on Facebook.com/DOSACatholics, and YouTube.com/DOSACatholics.
April 14
Holy Thursday Mass, 7:00 p.m., Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Jacksonville.
The Sacred Triduum begins on the evening of Holy Thursday, as Catholics gather for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The liturgy commemorates Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. It was then that He established Holy Communion and instituted the priesthood. During the Lord’s Last Supper, He washed the feet of His disciples – an act carried out at local parishes as priests wash the feet of parishioners, mirroring Jesus’ command to serve others.

April 15
Good Friday Liturgy, 7:00 p.m., Holy Faith Parish, Gainesville

Good Friday is the one day of the year when the Mass is not celebrated in the Catholic Church. The faithful, rather, gather to celebrate the passion of the Lord usually during an afternoon service that opens in silence. Those in attendance are invited to come forward to venerate the cross, and Holy Communion is distributed. Some parishes pray the Stations of the Cross in the afternoon or early evening. 

April 16
Easter Vigil Mass, 8:30 p.m., Resurrection Parish, Jacksonville

The Easter Vigil occurs on Holy Saturday – the high point of the Triduum – as we celebrate Jesus’ glorious victory over death. The Easter Vigil is divided into four parts: the service of light when the Easter fire is blessed, and the paschal candle is lit; the Liturgy of the Word when we listen to some of the best readings of the church; Christian Initiation when we welcome our brothers and sisters in the faith and renew our own baptismal promises; and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. This year, there are 502 people (catechumens and candidates) receiving the sacraments of initiation during the Easter Vigil in our parishes. Please continue to pray for them.

April 17
Easter Sunday Mass, 10:00 a.m., National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios, St. Augustine
The Mass of the Lord’s Resurrection is celebrated on Easter Sunday. During the liturgy, the faithful are invited to renew their baptismal promises. Bishop Estévez will celebrate the Mass outdoors at the foot of the Great Cross at the shrine. Participants are asked to bring a chair.

For Holy Week events at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche at Mission Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine, visit www.missionandshrine.org.