Exploring innovative ways to deepen the experience of Holy Week led St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Trumbull to offer parishioners two events, one reviving a time-honored tradition and the other an emotional journey into the Passion.
On Holy Thursday, April 13, parishioners are invited to join in the tradition of visiting seven churches. This ancient tradition originated in Rome, where the faithful visit seven churches to venerate the Holy Eucharist at the altars of repose on the evening of Holy Thursday. It was a way to “make a pilgrimage” at Reviving a time-honored tradition a time when long-distance travel was dangerous.
Because Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday, during Mass on Holy Thursday extra hosts are consecrated so that the faithful can receive Communion at a Good Friday service. The hosts for Good Friday are not placed in the tabernacle, but are left on the altar while the priest says a post-communion prayer. They are then carried in procession to a place of reservation somewhere in the church or, in some churches, an appropriately adorned chapel.
At the end of Holy Thursday Mass, all altars except the one used as the altar of repose, are stripped. The Blessed Sacrament remains in that temporary place, where it is reserved as a focus of prayer and Eucharistic Adoration.
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will begin in St. Catherine of Siena Church on Holy Thursday at 7:30 pm. The visit will begin directly following Mass, and finish at St. Catherine’s shortly before midnight.
Good Friday will be observed at St. Catherine’s in a very special way this year. Following the Liturgy of the Passion and Death of the Lord at 3:00 pm, the parish will offer a screening of The Passion of the Christ, beginning at 5pm in the church. The Passion of the Christ focuses on the last twelve hours of Jesus of Nazareth’s life. The film begins in the Garden of Olives where Jesus has gone to pray after the Last Supper. Jesus must resist the temptations of Satan. Betrayed by Judas Iscariot, Jesus is then arrested and taken within the city walls of Jerusalem where leaders of the Pharisees confront him with the accusations of blasphemy, and his trial results in a condemnation to death.
Following the screening, all are invited into the church hall for a simple supper of soup and bread at 7:15 pm. Stations of the Cross will begin at 8:00 pm in the church.
(The Holy Thursday event is free of charge; the parish is especially seeking drivers for the visits. Free-will donations for Good Friday supper will be welcomed. To register for the events, or for more information, contact Monica Zuniga, coordinator of Evangelization and Parish Life: (203) 377-3133, ext. 21, or monica at email@example.com.)
Also: Basilica of St. John the Evangelist for Pilgrimage
Join the young adults of the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist and CONNected Catholics for Mass on Holy Thursday, celebrating the Lord’s Last Supper, when He instituted both the Eucharist and the priesthood! Following Mass, the young adults present will go on a pilgrimage to visit 7 local churches, as is tradition!