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Archdiocese of Newark issues guidelines for Holy Week

UPDATED MARCH 26, 2020

Holy Week in Time of Covid 19

The following has been prepared by the Office of Divine Worship of the Archdiocese of Newark for Holy Week in accordance with the Decree issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship, “In time of Covid-19” protocol number 153/20.

Church Year

The Church Year with its sacred liturgies is the basis of our spirituality as Catholic Christians, with the Eucharist as the “source and summit” of the Christian life. Sadly, the current crisis which has suspended liturgical services, will now be disrupting Holy Week. It should be noted that the following temporary measures are for 2020 ONLY. The adaptations provided by the Holy See, by way of exception for this difficult period, are not meant to establish a future precedent.

Lent and the Time Leading Up to Holy Week

Church Visitation

With the closing of all churches, church buildings should be locked. No public celebrations of the liturgy, devotions or exposition of the Blessed Sacrament may be held.

Holy Week

According to the Decree “In Time of Covid 19,” the dates of the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil/Sunday) cannot be transferred to another time. Therefore:

Indications for the Paschal Triduum

Wherever the civil and ecclesiastical authorities have put restrictions in place, the Sacred Triduum must be celebrated in the following way: Bishops will give indications...so that, in the Cathedral and parish churches, though without the physical participation of the faithful, the Bishop and parish priest(s) can celebrate the liturgical mysteries of the Paschal Triduum. The faithful should be informed of the times of the celebration so that they can prayerfully unite themselves in their homes. In this occasion, the means of live (not recorded) televisual or internet broadcasts are helpful.

IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF NEWARK, ALL PUBLIC CELEBRATIONS OF HOLY WEEK, INCLUDING PALM SUNDAY AND EASTER SUNDAY, HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED.

It is not required that parishes celebrate the liturgies of the Easter Triduum, but when doing so the following is to be observed.

Churches may not be open for public prayer during the Paschal Triduum; no public liturgies or events may be scheduled. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is not permitted during the Paschal Triduum. This year, the Eucharist should remain in the tabernacle for the duration of the three days.

[READ THE FULL GUIDELINES]


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