Palm Sunday

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. The Church recalls Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem with a procession of palms and reads the account of his Passion. All are welcome to attend a special Palm Sunday Mass for the Deaf Community, celebrated by Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, on Saturday, April 13, at Christ the King Retreat House and Conference Center, 500 Brookford Rd., Syracuse. Mass will begin at 5 p.m. and a dinner will follow. The event is free to attend. Please RSVP to Michele Murphy at or (315) 766-6514 (call or text message).


Parishes across the diocese will participate in the annual the Light is On for You campaign on Monday, April 15. Participating parishes will be open from 4 to 7 p.m. to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) unless otherwise noted. For more information about the Light is On for You and the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and to find a participating parish near you, visit


Joined by priests and faithful, Bishop Cunningham will celebrate the Chrism Mass April 16 at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse. During the Mass, the oil of the sick and the oil of catechumens will be blessed and the Sacred Chrism consecrated. Priests of the diocese will also renew their priestly promises. All are welcome to join the celebration.
Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday

marks the beginning of the Paschal Triduum. The Church gathers in the evening for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which focuses on the institution of both the ordained priesthood and the Eucharist, as well as the call to service with the washing of feet. There is a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose, where Christ is adored and the faithful are invited keep watch with him. Many Catholics participate in the tradition of visitation or “church hopping,” visiting several churches on Holy Thursday evening to venerate the Blessed Sacrament — check with your parish to see if it will be open that evening or consider making a pilgrimage to other parishes in your area.

Good Friday

On Good Friday, the faithful adore and venerate the cross, read the Passion, and receive Holy Communion. Many parishes also offer Stations of the Cross. Families, youth, and young adults are invited to join Bishop Cunningham in praying the Stations during a candlelight outdoor service Friday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. at Christ the King Retreat House in Syracuse. A pizza dinner will be provided following the service. Youth group leaders, families, and young adults, visit to register.

Holy Saturday

The Easter Vigil begins begins with a service of light — the lighting of fire and the Paschal candle — which recalls 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 is proclaimed; the Liturgy of Baptism, in which new members are incorporated into Christ and the Church; and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in which the Church remembers the death and resurrection of the Lord until he comes again. During the day, many parishes offer a blessing of baskets of Easter food — check with your parish to see if one will be offered.

Easter Sunday 

The Church joyfully celebrates the resurrection of the Lord and his triumph over sin and death. Find Mass times at

Some material here was adapted from Father Christopher R. Seibt’s 2015 Sun article, “Holy Week: The Week that Changed the World“.

Holy Week highlights

April 17: Tenebrae Service at St. Patrick’s Church, 1341 State Route 5, Chittenango, 7 p.m. Join St. Patrick’s Adult Choir for this special service during Holy Week. Tenebrae is a service of Gospel readings and musical responses recounting the Passion of our Lord. Admission is free. Contact the parish office at 315-687-6105 for more information.

April 18: Holy Thursday service and concert at St. Mary of Mount Carmel–Blessed Sacrament Parish, 648 Jay St., 7 p.m. The service will be followed by the annual concert by the church choir and recitation of the Holy Rosary, led by Michael Dziura.

April 21: Sunrise Mass, celebrated by Father Jim Mathews of St. Lucy’s Church, in the upper parking lot of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse, 6 a.m. For more than 30 years, this celebration has taken place looking over the city of Syracuse at sunrise. Bring your own chair and dress for the early morning cold spring weather.

Easter Mass to air on TV stations throughout the diocese

Easter Mass for the ill and homebound will air on Sunday, April 21, on the following television and cable access stations:
   • WSYR Ch. 9, Syracuse: 6 a.m.
   • WBNG Ch. 12, Binghamton: 6 a.m.
   • WKTV Ch. 2, Utica: 6 a.m.
   • Spectrum Cable Public Access Ch. 98, Syracuse: 2:30 p.m.
• Spectrum Cable Ch. 99, Utica/Rome: 2:30 p.m.

The Mass will also air on Saturday, April 20, on the following stations:
• Spectrum Cable Public Access  Ch. 98, Syracuse: 7 p.m.
• Spectrum Cable Ch. 99, Utica/Rome: 7 p.m.

Additionally, the Mass can be viewed on the Catholic TV YouTube channel at This Mass, as well as weekly Sunday Mass, is made possible by generous gifts to the annual HOPE Appeal, which kicks off in parishes the weekend of May 4 and 5.

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