Guidance for Holy Week and Easter liturgies in the Diocese of Cork and Ross has been issued to the priests of the diocese by Bishop Fintan Gavin.

Holy Week

“The new public health restrictions have changed our lives and ministry significantly. I know that “cocooning” is not easy for people who have to, and neither is isolation, but these steps are necessary to stop the spread of the virus and save lives.

I’m grateful to all the priests who have generously made themselves available to help where pastoral needs arise in neighbouring parishes.

These extraordinary times present us with an opportunity to unite in solidarity and communion with one another as a faith community. Therefore, I’m inviting all priests, parishes and religious communities to join me in the celebration of the Easter Triduum in the Cathedral by way of live-stream. This is an opportunity for us to pray together as a diocesan family.”

The Cathedral’s live-stream can be accessed here

Holy Week Liturgies

Palm Sunday: Parishes will celebrate this in the same way as on Sundays and weekdays over recent weeks. People at home are invited to have some palm branches or greenery from their own garden with them. These will be blessed as part of the Rite of Blessing of Palms. Palms from the church will not be distributed but are to be retained until the current crisis has passed.

Chrism Mass
The Chrism Mass will be celebrated at a later stage in the year. Last year’s Holy Oils may be retained and used until then.

Triduum in the Cathedral

  • On Holy Thursday, The Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at 7.30pm in the Cathedral. This Liturgy will not include a ceremony of Washing of Feet (another rite will replace this) or the Procession to the Altar of Repose.
  • On Good Friday, The Solemn Liturgy of the Passion will be celebrated in the Cathedral at 3pm. The Solemn Intercessions will include a special prayer for all afflicted in this time of pandemic.
  • At the Easter Vigil at 9pm in the Cathedral, while there won’t be a Paschal Fire this year, the Paschal Candle will be lit and the Exultet will be proclaimed.

Easter Sunday

Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral at 11.30am.
Priests will celebrate Mass on Easter Sunday morning for their congregations who will join them spiritually. The Renewal of Baptismal Promises is included in this Mass and the Paschal Candle is lit.

Where priests have been live-streaming liturgies they may wish to celebrate the Stations of the Cross or a Prayer around the Cross on Good Friday at midday or in the evening.

As we approach Holy Week, the most significant time in our Church year when we celebrate the very heart of our faith, let us continue to keep each other in our prayers.”