Catholics in the Edmonton Archdiocese are invited to celebrate Holy Week through livestreamed masses amid ongoing social distancing restrictions designed to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
“This year, our celebrations of the Liturgies of Holy Week and the Sacred Paschal Triduum will be like no others,” the archdiocesan Office of Divine Worship said March 31 in releasing the mass schedule for Holy Week.
Priests in the Archdiocese will celebrate the liturgies privately, with no congregation present. In the case of concelebration, each priest will abide by physical distancing requirements and infection prevention protocols.
The faithful are invited to celebrate masses “virtually” through video livestreaming from their own parish or St. Joseph’s Basilica with Archbishop Richard Smith. Visit grandinmedia.ca, your parish website or caedm.ca to find links to the livestream events.
The Office of Divine Worship has released the following schedule:
Sunday of the Passion of the Lord (Palm Sunday) April 5
Mass will be livestreamed from St. Joseph’s Basilica at 10:30 a.m. This liturgy commemorates the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem. It may include the blessing of palms, but the palms would be stored for distribution at a later date.
Thursday of Holy Week (Holy Thursday) April 9
The future date and time of the Chrism Mass are to be determined.
Mass of the Lord’s Supper
Mass will be livestreamed from St. Joseph’s Basilica at 7 p.m.
The Mass will not include the usual ritual of the washing of feet or the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose. The Blessed Sacrament will be reserved in the Tabernacle.
Good Friday April 10
Service will be livestreamed from St. Joseph’s Basilica at 3 p.m.
The Passion of the Lord will be celebrated on this day, and the liturgy will include special prayers for those in distress, the sick, and the dead.
Holy Saturday April 11
Mass will be livestreamed from St. Joseph’s Basilica at 8 p.m.
The blessing of the fire does not take place, but the Easter Candle will be lit. This liturgy includes the renewal of Baptismal Promises. The Sacraments of Initiation are postponed until medical directives relative to the pandemic indicate it would be safe to celebrate them.
Easter Sunday April 11
Mass will be livestreamed from St. Joseph’s Basilica at 10:30 a.m.
Catholics celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. Special prayers will be said for those affected by the current pandemic, for our religious and government leaders, and for the dead.
More resources on Holy Week are available at caedm.ca/covid. Those resources include Archbishop Smith’s teaching on Indulgences (video and print, links to prayer resources and Mass texts, links to Archbishop Smith’s homily texts, a link to Holy Week at Home and a family prayer resource from Liturgical Press.