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. Bishop Cunningham celebrated Palm Sunday Mass with members of the Deaf community April 8 at Christ the King Retreat House and Conference Center in Syracuse. At right, Jane Long signs during the Mass.
The Chrism Mass was celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Tuesday of Holy Week, April 11. At the Mass, Bishop Cunningham blessed the the oil of the sick and the oil of catechumens and consecrated the Sacred Chrism, breathing on the oil as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Priests of the diocese also renewed their priestly promises.
The Paschal Triduum began Holy Thursday, April 13. The Church gathers in the evening for the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which focuses on the institution of the ordained priesthood and the Eucharist, as well as the call to service with the washing of feet. At right, Father John Kurgan washes the feet of parishioner Diane Rigotti during Holy Thursday Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Vestal.
On the evening of Holy Thursday, Road to Emmaus Ministry volunteers cared for the feet of guests at the Catholic Charities Men’s Shelter in Syracuse. More than a dozen volunteers from several parishes cared for 24 men, continuing a Holy Thursday tradition the ministry began in 2009. Offering foot care to the men that first year was “symbolic of what Christ did to the disciples,” said Sheila Austin, director of the ministry. “But what we learned in that offering is that we are called to be disciples and when we minister to the least of the least, we bring the presence of Christ in very special way.” Below, volunteer Caitlyn Lawless cares for a guest.
On Good Friday, the faithful adore and venerate the cross, read the Passion, and receive Holy Communion. Here, parishioners of St. Anthony and St. Agnes Parish in Utica and pastor Father Mark Kaminski venerate the cross April 14.
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. Scott Kingsley entered the Church during the Easter Vigil at St. Ann’s Church in Manlius 10 years ago. Reflecting on his journey a decade later, Kingsley told the Sun that “learning about the church and completing the sacraments as an adult was very special. I initially said I was going to do it so I could better talk about our faith with my family, but it turned out to be a personal development opportunity for me that I had not fully appreciated.”
During the day, parishioners of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Syracuse gathered for the traditional blessing of baskets of Easter food.
The Church joyfully celebrates the resurrection of the Lord and his triumph over sin and death. Here, pastor Father John Hogan celebrates the Easter Mass at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Oswego.