Officially Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday.
This holiest week of the Catholic calendar is full of opportunities to pray and respond to the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus.
For me, this Holy Week (plus 2) begins tomorrow with our parish Stations of the Cross in the streets of Dulce Nombre. All the villages have been invited to come, each bearing a cross on which are hung the sins – personal and social – that plague us here in western Honduras. At the end of the stations, there will be a penitential act and the burning of the crosses in front of the church.
|Via Crucis Dulce Nombre 2014|
Palm Sunday there will be processions with palms before the Masses in Dulce Nombre and San Agustín and celebrations of the Word in the villages.
On Monday Padre German will go out to one village to have confessions and Masses for the people there and in the neighboring villages.
Wednesday will be a day of quiet rest.
Thursday morning the bishop with the priests celebrate the Chrism Mass in Santa Rosa de Copán. The bishop will consecrate Chrism and the oils of the catechumens and of the sick.
In the evening Padre German will celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper with the washing of the feet in Dulce Nombre. In the villages where there is a communion minister they will have a Celebration of the Word, the washing of the feet, Communion, and adoration after Mass. Where there is no communion minister they will just have a Celebration of the Word and the Washing of the Feet.
In some places, there will be a procession late at night – La Procesión de la Soledad.
On Friday morning, most places will celebrate the Stations of the Cross in the streets of their towns and villages. The Reading of the Passion and the Veneration of the Cross will be the afternoon liturgies in most places. Where the Eucharist is reserved, they will have Communion.
After the Good Friday afternoon liturgy many places have a procession called El Santo Entierro, the Holy Burial. An image of Jesus – often placed in a glass casket will be borne throughout the streets of the towns and villages.
Padre German has asked me to go out to three very remote and poor villages for Holy Thursday and Good Friday – Agua Buena, Delicias, and El Bálsamo in the Dolores municipality. I feel very privileges to be able to accompany the people there.
Holy Saturday I have nothing until the Vigil. We have about 96 catechumens, aged 14 and older, to be baptized. The procession of the Paschal often begins about 30 minutes from the church; then the parish uses all the Vigil readings; and then the baptisms. My guess is that this could take at least four hours.
I will try to post photos and some commentary when I can. Since I will be out in the countryside, I will not post on Thursday and not until late on Friday.
Sunday, I hope to spend lunch with the Dubuque Franciscan sisters in Gracias.
Then on Tuesday, a two week trip to visit friends and relatives in the New York City, Philadelphia, and Scranton region.
Then, celebrating the Easter season back here – and hoping to get to the beatification of Monseñor Romero in El Salvador on May 23.