From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I do each year for Holy Week, I am posting my blog a day earlier than usual so as to be able to better prepare for and observe the liturgies of the Paschal Triduum.

Saturday, I was visited by a group of parishioners from St. Leonard's in the North End, who came accompanied by their pastor, Father Michael Della Penna. They wanted to talk to me about proposed changes in their prayer garden.

It was very good to see them, and they very graciously brought a lot of pastries from Modern Pastry in the North End.

Visit on Palm Sunday

Each year, the youth group from St. Mary's in Waltham comes to visit us at the cathedral on Palm Sunday. There was a very large group this year, and we were glad to be able to welcome them again.

I gave them a short talk on Holy Week, and then they had a time of prayer and veneration of the relic of the True Cross. Afterwards, they had a tour of the cathedral.

Zoom meeting

Monday, I met via Zoom with Father David Grenier, commissary for the U.S. of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. The Custody of the Holy Land is the first province St. Francis founded in the 13th century, and the friars have been caring for the holy places since then.

The friars run about 30 schools, clinics, and other ministries around the shrines and the holy places. Many of their works of charity and their education apostolate are supported by the special collection for the Holy Land taken up on Good Friday.

With the situation of war, things are very dire in the Holy Land. Most Christians there work in occupations related to welcoming pilgrims, and with the present conflict, the number of visitors to the holy places has dropped drastically. So, this has brought great hardship to the people.

Father David was very anxious to contact me to thank me for the generosity of the people of Boston every year with the Good Friday collection, and we certainly want to encourage everyone to be very generous to help the people in that part of the world who are suffering so much at this time.

Service of Tenebrae

On Wednesday evening, we had our service of Tenebrae at the cathedral. The Tenebrae service is one way that we can fulfill the liturgical directives that some hours of the Divine Office be celebrated publicly during Holy Week.

We asked the seminary to assign one of the transitional deacons to preach at the service, and we were happy to have Deacon Marcelo Ferrari as our homilist.

Of course, the musical accompaniment is extraordinary. There is quite a tradition of music for Tenebrae and Holy Week, and Richard Clark and the choir do a fantastic job with it.