April 18, 2011

Bishop: ‘Holy Week is a time to renew commitment to the Lord’

SAGINAW – At Palm Sunday Mass, the Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, encouraged the faithful who were gathered — and the entire Catholic community — to ask God for the grace to remain faithful.

“Holy Week is a time to renew our commitment to the Lord,” said Bishop Cistone.

Bishop Cistone will celebrate the liturgies of Holy Week at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt Ave., in Saginaw. His schedule is as follows:

10:30 a.m., Tuesday: Chrism Mass
7 p.m., Thursday: Mass of the Lord’s Supper
1 p.m., Friday: Celebration of the Lord’s Passion
9 p.m., Saturday: Mass, The Easter Vigil
10 a.m., April 24: Mass, Easter Sunday, The Resurrection of the Lord

The days between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday are known as HOLY WEEK in the Catholic tradition. It is during this week that Christian people recall the Passion, death and Resurrection of Jesus.

At the CHRISM MASS, the holy oils which will be used for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and Anointing of the Sick will be blessed by Bishop Cistone and distributed to representatives of the 105 parish communities within the Diocese of Saginaw. The priests of the Diocese will concelebrate the Mass with Bishop Cistone and make a renewal of their priestly vows.

On HOLY THURSDAY, we remember, in a special way, the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper – the First Mass in the Catholic tradition. During the Mass, Bishop Cistone will wash the feet of 12 parishioners, recalling the way Jesus washed the feet of the 12 Disciples at that meal.

On GOOD FRIDAY, we remember the crucifixion and death of Our Lord as we gather to venerate the cross and hear the Gospel account of Christ’s Passion.

The EASTER VIGIL is a joyful night-watch by Christians who have gathered to celebrate the most important feast in the life of the Church – the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. The vigil begins outdoors with the blessing of the Easter fire. It is during the Vigil, that nearly 250 people in the Diocese of Saginaw and thousands more around the world will join the Church as they are baptized, confirmed and receive their first Eucharist.

On EASTER SUNDAY we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus as we hear the Gospel account of the encounter of the first Christians with Our Risen Lord and his empty tomb.

Throughout Lent, Bishop Cistone has offered weekly reflections that focus on prayer and Christian living, with special attention to the abundant graces of God. Bishop Cistone will offer his final reflection in this series on Easter Monday. It will be available on the diocesan website, Saginaw.org.

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