Nearly 1.3 million Catholics worshiping in the 212 Catholic parishes of the Archdiocese of Newark throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson and Union counties will mark the days leading to Easter Sunday with a full range of liturgies — Mass, Stations of the Cross, prayer services and more.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., archbishop of Newark, will preside at liturgies.
2023 Holy Week Schedule
April 2 | Palm Sunday
Cardinal Tobin will preside at a 12:30 p.m. Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Ridgewood. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem. During Mass, Catholics 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 3 | Chrism Mass
Cardinal Tobin will preside at an 8 p.m. Chrism Mass at Newark’s Cathedral-Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Catholics will witness the blessing of the Chrism, a mixture of oil and balsam, or balm, used in archdiocesan parishes throughout the coming year for the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, the Anointing of the Sick and to anoint newly ordained priests and deacons.
The Chrism also is used to bless altars and churches. At the conclusion of the Mass, representatives from each parish receive the oils in the name of their communities. The Mass, celebrated annually in every diocese of the universal Church, also calls on all clergy present to renew their promises of ordination. This Mass welcomes all those who share in church ministries, including those in RCIA, Baptism and Confirmation programs.
April 6 | Holy Thursday | Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Cardinal Tobin will preside at the bilingual 7:30 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which commemorates Christ’s washing of the feet and the institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.
During this Mass, in imitation of Christ’s humility and actions at the Last Supper, Cardinal Tobin will wash the feet of representatives of the cathedral. After Mass, the cathedral’s sanctuary will be stripped of all decor and the crucifix will be covered by purple cloth in preparation for the solemn Good Friday liturgy.
April 7 | Good Friday | Celebration of the Passion of the Lord
Following the Stations of the Cross at noon in the Cathedral-Basilica, Cardinal Tobin will preside at a 3 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion to commemorate Christ’s suffering and death through prayer, silence and Adoration of the Cross. A Spanish-language liturgy follows at 5 p.m., followed by a Spanish-language Stations of the Cross at 6 p.m. A choral adaptation of the Stations of the Cross will be performed at 8 p.m.
April 8 | Easter Vigil
Cardinal Tobin will celebrate a bilingual Easter Vigil Mass beginning at 8:30 p.m. in the Cathedral-Basilica. The Easter Vigil, which begins after nightfall, is the first and most important celebration of Christ’s Resurrection. At this liturgy, Catholics will celebrate the festival of light, symbolizing the Light of the Resurrection seen in the new fire, the Easter candle lit in a darkened cathedral.
The “Alleluia” will be praised for the first time since the start of Lent. New members of the Catholic Church — the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) Catechumens — will also be welcomed into the faith at this Mass and will receive the sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation.
Return of Consecrated Wine from Chalice During Holy Week
The Archdiocese of Newark announced recently Cardinal Tobin has restored the practice of offering consecrated wine, or the Blood of Christ, during the celebration of Mass in the Archdiocese beginning on Holy Thursday, April 6.
The practice had been on hiatus since 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns and safety restrictions, and only priests have been permitted to receive Communion from the cup during Mass over that time. The directive also calls for the Archdiocese to foster a renewed fullness in liturgical celebrations and to discontinue remaining pandemic restrictions or accommodations.
For more information on Holy Week in the Archdiocese of Newark, visit https://www.rcan.org/offices-and-ministries/divine-worship.
Learn more about the writer ...
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.