Faithful across the diocese celebrated Holy Week March 28-April 4, their second Holy Week during the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike Holy Week 2020, which fell just a month after Central New York communities began closing schools and businesses and directing people to stay home amid the spread of the disease, Holy Week 2021 saw faithful able to celebrate together and in-person — with precautions in place. The week’s celebrations were Bishop Douglas J. Lucia’s first public Holy Week liturgies since his 2019 installation as Bishop of Syracuse.

These pages include highlights from the week’s sacred liturgies and traditions. Visit,, and for more, and share your Holy Week highlights at Sun photos | Chuck Wainwright

Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord began Holy Week March 28. The Church remembered Jesus’ triumphant entrance into Jerusalem with a procession of palms, as seen above at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.




Chrism Mass

Bishop Lucia and priests of the diocese celebrated the Chrism Mass March 30 at the Cathedral. During the Mass, the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens were blessed and the Sacred Chrism consecrated, and priests of the diocese renewed their priestly promises. Above, Bishop Lucia breathes on the Sacred Chrism as a symbol of the Holy Spirit.





Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday, April 1, began the Paschal Triduum. The Church gathered in the evening for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which focuses on the institution of both the ordained priesthood and the Holy Eucharist, as well as the call to service — though the traditional Washing of Feet was omitted this year amid the pandemic.

There was a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose (Bishop Lucia is pictured at left as he begins the procession at the Cathedral), where Christ is adored and the faithful are invited to keep watch with him. Many Catholics participate in the tradition of visiting several churches on Holy Thursday evening to pray before the Blessed Sacrament. At the middle, Father Andrew E. Baranski, rector, kneels and adores the Eucharist at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Syracuse (photo courtesy Judy Dougherty), and at far right, a visitor prays before the Blessed Sacrament at the Cathedral.


Good Friday

On Good Friday, April 2, faithful adored and venerated the Cross, read the Passion, and received Holy Communion. This year, the faithful adored the Cross together from their pews and reverenced it with a genuflection or bow, as the usual kissing of the Cross was not permitted. Pictured here are scenes from the liturgy celebrated by Bishop Lucia at the Cathedral.


Holy Saturday

The Easter Vigil was celebrated on Holy Saturday, April 3. The Mass began with a service of light — the lighting of fire and the Paschal candle — which recalled that by his death and resurrection Christ banished the darkness of sin; the Liturgy of the Word, in which the history of God’s salvation was proclaimed; the Liturgy of Baptism, in which new members were incorporated into Christ and the Church; and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in which the Church remembered the death and resurrection of the Lord until he comes again. Below, Bishop Lucia lights a candle outside the Cathedral;  the Paschal candle burns inside the Cathedral.


Easter Sunday

The Church joyfully celebrated the resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday, April 4. Bishop Lucia’s pre-recorded Easter Mass (pictured at far left) was broadcast on television stations across the diocese Easter morning. Father John Manno, pastor of Holy Family Church in Fairmount, celebrated Mass at sunrise in the parish’s Shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes (pictured at right top and bottom).


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