Cardinal Tobin preps for busy, in-person Holy Week

Nearly 1.3 million Catholics throughout the Archdiocese of Newark will participate in sacred liturgies remembering the death of Christ and celebrating his resurrection on Easter Sunday throughout Holy Week.

This year, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, archbishop of Newark, will observe Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum with in-person liturgical celebrations at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark.

All Holy Week liturgies will be streamed online on the archdiocesan YouTube and Facebook channels as well as on the Cathedral Basilica’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

April 10, Palm Sunday, 10 a.m. in Spanish

Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Week and commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The faithful will hear the Gospel account of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus. Blessed palm fronds representing the palm branches the crowds scattered in front of Christ as he rode into the city will be distributed.

April 11, Chrism Mass, 8 p.m.  

Priests and faithful will gather to witness the blessing of the Oil of Catechumens, the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Chrism for use in parishes throughout the archdiocese all year. These oils will be accepted by representatives of each parish and used for adult catechumens and infants, the Anointing of the Sick, baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests and the consecration of altars.

Additionally, during the Mass, archdiocesan priests celebrating their ordination’s 25th or 50th anniversary are honored. And every priest in the cathedral will reaffirm their commitment to Christ, the Church and the faithful by renewing the vows they made at their ordination.

April 14, Holy Thursday, 7:30 p.m., bilingual Mass.  

Holy Thursday is the first day of the Triduum and celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This Mass commemorates Jesus’ final gathering with his disciples, during which he washed their feet and instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist before he died. After Mass, the Cathedral’s sanctuary will be stripped of all decorations, and the crucifix will be covered by purple cloth in preparation for the solemn Good Friday liturgy.

April 15, Good Friday, 3 p.m.  

Good Friday commemorates the Passion of Christ. At 3 p.m., Christ’s suffering and death will be observed with prayer and silence. A Spanish-language liturgy will follow at 5 p.m., followed by a Spanish-language outdoor procession of the Stations of the Cross at 6 p.m., and an indoor procession of the Stations of the Cross in English at 8 p.m.

April 16, Holy Saturday, 8:30 p.m., bilingual Easter Vigil Mass  

Holy Saturday commemorates a day of waiting — when the Apostles waited as the body of Jesus lay in his tomb. The Easter Vigil begins after nightfall. It is the first and most important celebration of Christ’s resurrection, during which the Paschal candle will be lit from within a darkened church to symbolize Jesus’ light entering the world. The “Alleluia” will also be heard for the first time since the start of Lent.

During the Easter Vigil Mass, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Catechumens will become full members of the Catholic Church by receiving the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.

April 17, Easter Sunday, Noon

Easter Sunday celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and his victory over sin and death. This day marks the beginning of the Easter Season, which lasts for seven weeks and culminates on Pentecost Sunday.

In addition to Tobin’s extensive schedule, Holy Week services also will be celebrated at local parishes throughout the four counties of the archdiocese — Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union. For liturgy and livestream schedules, contact each local parish.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.