Holy Week with Francis

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday.

Pope Francis on Palm Sunday.

Pope Francis celebrated all of the many liturgies of Holy Week this year in a Rome which was already preparing for the two canonizations which would be held on April 27. Francis held his weekly general audience on the Wednesday of Holy Week, called “Spy Wednesday” in some parts of the English-speaking world.

At this very center of Holy Week, the Gospel reading of the day recounts Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, which sets in motion the events of Christ’s Passion, Death and Resurrection. In his catechetical remarks to pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square under a brilliant blue April sky, with a crisp spring breeze blowing through the city, Pope Francis spoke of Christ’s free embrace of suffering and death, which he took on for our sake.

Young Polish women participate in the Palm Sunday ceremony on  April 13, the beginning of Holy Week. They were to remain in Rome until the double canonization two weeks later...

Young Polish women participate in the Palm Sunday ceremony on
April 13, the beginning of Holy Week. They were to remain in Rome until the double canonization two weeks later…

“Out of love for us,” said Pope Francis, “Jesus freely walked the path of humiliation and self-abandonment for our salvation.” As St. Paul says, the Pope continued, “he emptied himself… and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:7-8).

“As we contemplate Jesus in his passion, we see reflected the sufferings of all humanity and we discover God’s answer to the mystery of evil, suffering and death. He gives us his Son, who dies humiliated, betrayed, abandoned and reviled. Yet God’s victory shines forth in what appears, in human terms, to be failure and defeat.”

The Holy Father went on to say that Jesus’ passion is the culmination of his revelation of the Father’s infinite love and his summons to faith in his word: “Christ takes upon himself the power of evil in order to set us free: ‘by his wounds we have been healed’ (cf. 1 Pet 2:24). This week, as we follow Jesus along the way of the cross, may we imitate his loving obedience to the will of the Father, especially in times of difficulty and humiliation, and open our hearts to his gifts of reconciliation, redemption and new life.”

Pope Francis went on to lead the traditional Holy Week liturgies and devotions in Rome, including a Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday morning; the Missa in coena Domini at the Centro Santa Maria della Provvidenza – “Our Lady of Providence” — home for the elderly and disabled on Thursday evening; the Passion service with the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday afternoon; and the Way of the Cross (“Via Crucis”) on Good Friday evening at the Coliseum in Rome, followed by the culminating celebration of the Sacred Triduum — the Easter Vigil Mass — in St. Peter’s Basilica, on the night between Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday morning, and then the concluding Easter Sunday Mass on Easter Sunday morning, when he also gave the traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and the World”) blessing following Mass.

The Chrism Mass is the traditional liturgy during which the oils to be used throughout the coming year in the sacraments of initiation, healing, and Holy Orders are blessed. It is also a particularly profound moment of unity among the clergy of the diocese together with the bishop.

The Chrism Mass is the traditional liturgy during which the oils to be used throughout the coming year in the sacraments of initiation, healing, and Holy Orders are blessed. It is also a particularly profound moment of unity among the clergy of the diocese together with the bishop.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis during Mass.

Pope Francis during Mass.

In St. Peter’s Basilica on Good Friday in the early evening, Pope Francis celebrated the memory of the Lord’s Passion by venerating the  Holy Cross.

In St. Peter’s Basilica on Good Friday in the early evening, Pope Francis celebrated the memory of the Lord’s Passion by venerating the
Holy Cross.

Pope Francis during Mass.

Pope Francis during Mass.

In Rome, Good Friday is celebrated with an evening Stations of the Cross beginning in the Coliseum and ending near the Roman Forum. An enormous cross is lit with torches.

In Rome, Good Friday is celebrated with an evening Stations of the Cross beginning in the Coliseum and ending near the Roman Forum. An enormous cross is lit with torches.

A father carries the bare wooden cross together with his family with Cardinal Vallini, the Pope’s Vicar for Rome, walking behind him. Opposite, Pope Francis during the ceremony.

A father carries the bare wooden cross together with his family with Cardinal Vallini, the Pope’s Vicar for Rome, walking behind him. Opposite, Pope Francis during the ceremony.

On April 19, Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass. The beginning of the ceremony is the lighting of the Paschal Candle and a procession to the altar with the candle in an entirely dark church.

On April 19, Pope Francis celebrated the Easter Vigil Mass. The beginning of the ceremony is the lighting of the Paschal Candle and a procession to the altar with the candle in an entirely dark church.

A second part of the Easter Vigil ceremony is the baptism of a number of adults who have finished their instruction and requested baptism.

A second part of the Easter Vigil ceremony is the baptism of a number of adults who have finished their instruction and requested baptism.

A third part of the ceremony is the confirming of these same newly baptized Christians. Here, the Holy Father lays his hands on the confirmands.

A third part of the ceremony is the confirming of these same newly baptized Christians. Here, the Holy Father lays his hands on the confirmands.

After Mass, at noon on Easter Sunday, April 20, Pope Francis went up to the Central Loggia of the Vatican Basilica to deliver his Easter message and blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and to the World”).

After Mass, at noon on Easter Sunday, April 20, Pope Francis went up to the Central Loggia of the Vatican Basilica to deliver his Easter message and blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and to the World”).

During Mass in Saint Peter's square on Easter Sunday the great square was filled with pilgrims.

During Mass in Saint Peter’s square on Easter Sunday the great square was filled with pilgrims.

On Easter Sunday, gifts were brought by representatives of many nations.

On Easter Sunday, gifts were brought by representatives of many nations.

 

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2014-05-01T13:00:43+00:00 May 1st, 2014|Categories: Photo Essay|Tags: |
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