Local faithful gather for Holy Week

Photo: Worshippers gather during the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption on April 12, 2022.


Last week, Catholics around the world celebrated Holy Week. In Saginaw, Bishop Robert Gruss presided at several liturgies at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption. 

Holy Week began with Palm Sunday, including a procession holding palm branches to mark Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem before His Passion, when some of the Jewish faithful welcomed Him by placing palm branches along His path and singing "Hosanna!" 

At the Chrism Mass, Bishop Gruss  blessed the holy oils, which will be used for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick, as well as the dedication of churches and consecration of altars. (The Holy Chrism is actually consecrated, not just blessed.) They were then distributed to representatives of the parish communities within the Diocese of Saginaw. The priests of the diocese concelebrated the Mass with Bishop Gruss and renewed their priestly vows.

Holy Thursday commemorates the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, history's first Mass.

Good Friday marks the crucifixion and death of Jesus. During the liturgy, the faithful gather to venerate the cross and hear the Gospel account of Christ’s Passion. Mass is not celebrated during the somber liturgy.

The Easter Vigil Mass, celebrated on the evening of Holy Saturday, is the most important liturgy in the life of the Church -- the Resurrection of the Lord. Bishop Gruss began by blessing the Easter fire, and the faithful renewed their baptismal promises. During the Easter Vigil Masses celebrated across the diocese and around the world, thousands of people join the Catholic Church.

Holy Week concludes with the Sunday celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord. The Gospel account of the encounter of the first Christians with Our Risen Lord and his empty tomb is read during Mass.

The celebration of Easter extends into the Octave of Easter and then all the way up to the celebration of Pentecost on Sunday, June 5.