April 9, 2020: Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Thursday, at 7:00 PM
April 10, 2020: Stations of the Cross, Friday 1:00 PM
April 10, 2020: Good Friday Liturgy at 2:30 PM
April 11, 2020: Easter Vigil, Saturday at 8:00 PM
April 12, 2020: Easter Sunday at 9:00 AM
I encourage everyone to please share this link to your family and friends for them to join us and participate in all our celebrations this Holy Week 2020.
I look forward celebrating Holy Week with all of you virtually. Although you will be physically absent, I know deep in my heart you will be one and united with me in thanking and glorifying God for the gift of our salvation thorough Jesus Christ’s life, passion, death and resurrection.
The current “stay home” order we are observing in the Bay Area presents challenges us to observe the third precept of the Decalogue, “Remember the Sabbath day – keep it holy,” in ways other than by attending Sunday Mass. Since the celebration of Mass in public is not possible at this time, our people are excused from keeping the Lord’s Day holy by attending Sunday Mass. But since none of us are exempt from any of the Ten Commandments, I invite you to see this as an opportunity to be creative in finding ways to keep holy the Sabbath at home. Here are some ideas for how to do so.
Attend Mass remotely by watching a televised Sunday Mass. There are many possibilities for viewing the celebration of Mass, both via television and online, and both live and recorded. Below are some of those opportunities.
As we have announced to the public, parishes that have the technology to do so will livestream the Masses celebrated in their parish churches in private (i.e., only the priest and one altar server present, no one else). Most appropriately, then, people in parishes with livestreamed Masses can remotely attend their parish Mass with their pastor in this way.
St. Mary’s Cathedral will celebrate these Masses in private according to its established Mass schedule: Sunday Masses at 7:30am, 9:00am, 11:00am, 1:00pm (Spanish) and 5:30pm Saturday; weekday Masses at 7:30am and 12:10pm. Although these Masses will be celebrated with only the priest and one altar server present, as all of the other parish Masses in the Archdiocese, all of these Masses will be livestreamed so that our people may attend remotely at home. I myself will celebrate every Sunday at either the 11:00am or 1:00pm Mass (beginning this Sunday at 11:00am), as well as regularly during the week.
There is a locally recorded Sunday Mass celebrated by Msgr. Harry Schlitt which can be viewed on television and on YouTube.
The Catholic broadcasting network EWTN also has many possibilities for viewing Masses, both live and recorded, both in English and in Spanish.
According to an ancient practice, faithful who are properly disposed to receive sacramental Communion but are not able to do so may make an act of “spiritual Communion.” Examples may be a mother who must stay at home to attend to a sick child, a Mass at which the Eucharistic species has run out before everyone has communicated, and travelling where there is no Sunday Mass available. More information on spiritual Communion can be found here:
Many resources are now available which have the Sunday readings and meditations or commentaries to go along with them. An excellent resource in print is the popular Magnificat booklet. Magnificat is, in fact, providing free subscriptions at this time in both English and Spanish (cf. us.magnificat.net/free or latina.magnificat.net/gratis). The readings for each day of the year are also available online in both English and Spanish on the homepage of the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops).
Pray the rosary.
The rosary is, essentially, a biblical prayer, as it is a means of meditating on the mysteries of our salvation as revealed in the life of our Lord and our Blessed Mother in the Gospels, and most of the prayers come directly from the Gospel. Moreover, the traditional 150 Hail Mary’s (five decades each for the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries) were seen as correlated to the 150 Psalms in the Book of Psalms: while monks chanted the entire Psalter at different hours of the day throughout the week, the faithful could keep the spirit of this monastic discipline in their busy lives in the world by praying the rosary. Of course, St. John Paul II has now enhanced this cherished Catholic prayer by adding the Luminous Mysteries: mysteries at key moments in our Lord’s public ministry that reveal his truth and glory. Many resources are also available to enrich the praying of the rosary, such as the Scriptural rosary. It is good to pray the rosary in a group as well as individually, especially on the Lord’s Day which focuses on our communion as many members in the one Body of Christ.
The great hardship the unavailability of Mass in person and other Church services and events will cause to our devout people is abundantly clear to me. It is a sign of your deep and abiding faith, and I cannot help but smile when I think how pleasing this must be to our Lord. But it is also clear to me how pleased he will be by our making these sacrifices in order to protect our own health and that of the others.
Let us remember that it is precisely at times such as this that the Church throughout her history has most brilliantly shone the light of Christ. Our Lord is now giving us this opportunity to exhibit spiritual excellence through heroic virtue. At a time when we are all feeling the pull of a “me first,” “self-survival” mode to the exclusion of others, our Christian faith calls us precisely to put others first by acts of neighborliness, especially toward those who are most vulnerable.
With profound gratitude to health care workers and researchers, let us keep them in our daily prayers along with those suffering from this virus, all the sick, and our government leaders who are making such critical decisions for the public good at this time. Let us also remember to pray for those who are suffering materially as a result of the impact the current pandemic is having on the economy. Let us turn to our beautiful Blessed Mother, who unceasingly comes to the aid of her children in times of distress such as this. I invite you to join me in praying daily this prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe, composed by the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas. We fly to you today as your beloved children. We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels, that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted, we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance. Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful, wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing, teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind. Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence, knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother, health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection, keep us in the embrace of your arms, help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.