From Father Grecco regarding the celebration of the Sacred Triduum 2019 . . .

Friends, I present to you the schedule for the Holy Week services in our grouping. This decision was extremely difficult to make because of the attachment we still have to “our” church building and “our” Mass times. As with the preparation of the Christmas schedule, I am aware that I cannot please everyone. I assure you I made my best effort.

The Sacred Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil/Day) is ideally celebrated in one place. That is a practice toward which we will work. Although separate ceremonies, they are enmeshed and celebrate one reality–the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord. The circumstances in which we now find ourselves make one location impossible without hurt feelings or presumed favoritism toward one church building.

Many aspects of the location selected for particular services are based on the benefits/unique aspects of a church building. Of course, the size of the building is always primary in the process. We need to be able to fit into the space all who want to attend for the holy days. Additionally, as we now have a combined traditional choir, there needs to be appropriate space for them as well as acoustics that will enhance the singers and instrumentalists. The ability for the participants to view what is happening (i.e. The washing of the feet; veneration of the cross; lighting of the Easter fire) is an important component when selecting a site. Additionally, the scheduling must keep in mind the availability of priests and organists and their ability to be available for the numerous Mass times required.

Some necessary information to review:

Seating capacity

SEAS 625
SMOS 650
SSJ 850

Total participants 2018

Holy Thursday 786 (219 SEAS + 358 SSJ + 209 SMOS)
Good Friday 775 (297 SEAS + 292 SSJ + 186 SMOS)
Easter Vigil 560 (212 SEAS + 158 SSJ + 190 SMOS)

Based on this information, there is only one site that could easily accommodate the numbers. What follows will be the plan, as a trial run, for this year’s Triduum celebration. Next year, based on what we as priests experience, the schedule may be very different and we may concentrate services to fewer sites. In the coming year, we should make the effort to visit the other churches so as to become more comfortable, recognizing that we will not remain three separate parishes.

Thursday, April 18 – Holy Thursday

  • 7:00 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper (SSJ)

ALL churches decorated and open for visitation and Seven Church visitors until 11:00 p.m.

Friday, April 19 – Good Friday

  • Stations of the Cross and Veneration of the Cross (12:00 noon) (SSJ)
  • Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion/Veneration of the Cross/Holy Communion (2:00 p.m.) (SEAS)
  • Stations of the Cross and Veneration of the Cross (6:30 p.m.) (SMOS)
  • Tenebrae Service of Darkness and Veneration of the Cross (8:00 p.m.) (SEAS)

Saturday, April 20 – Blessing of Easter Baskets

  • Blessing of Easter Baskets 10:00 (SSJ)
  • Blessing of Easter Baskets 12:00 NOON (SMOS/ SEAS)
  • Solemn Vigil of Easter 8:30 p.m. (SMOS)

Sunday, April 21 – Easter Sunday

(NOTE that Schedule is different so that we can make up for one fewer Mass on Saturday evening and to accommodate the large numbers of those who may attend on Easter.)

  • 7:30 a.m. SSJ
  • 8:00 a.m. SMOS
  • 8:30 a.m. SEAS
  • 9:30 a.m. SSJ
  • 10:00 a.m. SMOS
  • 10:30 a.m. SEAS
  • 11:30 a.m., SSJ
  • 12:00 noon SMOS
  • 12:15 p.m. SEAS

WE MAY FIND THAT THE NUMBER OF MASSES SCHEDULED THIS YEAR IS TOO MANY. 50% of the church is to be utilized for a Mass to continue to be scheduled. Please do not presume the permanence of this schedule.