Holy Week 2015 - Text and Pictures

Source: St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary

Holy Week is the most important part of the liturgical year, for in it the Church recalls the Passion, death and Resurrection of Our Lord. The ancient ceremonies of this week, dating back to the Apostles, are very rich and unique. Every year at this time, the Seminary takes a break from classes to focus on the Passion of Our Lord found in the liturgy.

Chrismal Mass (pictures)

On Holy Thursday morning the Church consecrates the Holy Oils in a pontifical Mass. During the Canon, the bishop leaves the altar to perform the ceremony. Twelve priests in vestments, six deacons, and six subdeacons attend the bishop as he confects the Sacred Chrism.

Vesperal Mass with Mandatum (pictures)

The evening of Holy Thursday marks the institution of the Eucharist and the ordination of the Apostles to the priesthood. Twelve seminarians representing the Apostles have their feet washed before the Offertory. The Mass concludes with a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose.

Good Friday Afternoon Liturgy (pictures)

In the afternoon liturgy on Good Friday, the Church contemplates the death of Our Lord. After the Passion is sung, the Church offers solemn prayers for the salvation of all men. The liturgy continues with the adoration of the Holy Cross followed by Communion. There is no Mass offered until Christ’s Resurrection.

Easter Vigil (pictures)

On the night of Holy Saturday, the Church remembers the Resurrection of Our Lord. In the blessing of the Easter fire and the renewal of baptismal vows, and through the rest of the Mass, the Church expresses Her exultant joy at Christ’s conquest of death and sin.