Holy Week Ceremonies in the Diocese of Meath
Click here for a list ceremonies in your parish during Holy Week.
The annual Chrism Mass on Wednesday evening at 7.30pm, celebrated by Bishop Smith with most of the priests from the Diocese of Meath, involved volunteers who will be taking an active part at the Congress.
Reflecting on the centrality of the Eucharist in the life of the Church, Bishop Smith said:
"The readings for this liturgy are chosen with the theme of the forthcoming International Eucharistic Congress in mind. In St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians – one of his earliest letters - he highlights two teachings that he received from Peter and the other apostles, teachings which became central to his proclamation of the faith. One affirmed the resurrection of Jesus and the other spoke of the Eucharist. Within a very short space of time, following the resurrection of Jesus, these central teachings of the faith had been formulated. Our second reading from Paul gives us the teaching on the Eucharist that he received from Peter. It has been central to the life and faith of the Church from its very beginning.
"The Eucharistic Congress aims to reaffirm the centrality of the Eucharist to the life of faith and the mission of the Church. I hope many of you can experience at least part of that Congress. Over the past twenty years all parishes have sought to offer the opportunity of spending time in silence prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. In that silence we seek to strengthen and deepen our own faith. It is only a faith planted and built on Christ that is able to give true witness, a theme St Paul emphasised time and time again in his letters and his preaching."
Former Taoiseach, Mr John Bruton, has accepted an invitation to speak at the Holy Thursday Mass in the Cathedral at 7.30pm. Mr Bruton will reflect on the role that lay members of the Church are called to play in "building communion" at every level of life, based on the practice of Christian faith. The invitation was issued to Mr Bruton because he will be one of the key note speakers at the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin next June.
The Good Friday ceremonies at the Cathedral will also reflect on this theme. Outlining the importance of observing Good Friday, Bishop Smith explains:
"Good Friday invites the community of faith to pause for reflection. The symbol of the Cross tells us that God wishes to draw us into a closer relationship with Him and with our neighbour. As Jesus gives His life for us on the Cross, so too we are called to give our lives at the service of God and each other. There has been a tendency for Good Friday to be seen as the beginning of the Easter bank holiday weekend. But this misses an important moment in our spiritual lives, and an opportunity to see how we are really called to live as a Christian community."