CORNWALL, Ontario – The Archdiocese of Ottawa-Cornwall is preparing to observe Holy Week, which again this year is being done as the world grapples with a global pandemic.
Archbishop Marcel Damphousse acknowledged that this Easter and Lenten season would again be different, but that there were still ways to celebrate and observe these experiences.
“This year, Lent will be different than our usual experience. I encourage each and everyone of us to rely on our traditional practices of prayer, fasting and almsgiving with renewed vigour this Lent,” reads the Archbishop’s 2021 Lenten message. “You may consider offering the fruits of these practices in ways that support those struggling in the pandemic, especially those who are most vulnerable due to age, health, lack or resources or other reasons. No matter our particular circumstance, we can pray with and for those in need and in our fasting and charity, perhaps we can find ways to use the fruits of those practices to lend a material hand to those who need it.”
Msgr. Kevin Maloney of the St. Francis de Sales Parish explained that as the world emerges from the pandemic, Holy Week’s Easter message of hope and renewal is more relevant than ever.
“People need hope that light is here, and Jesus is that Light of the World,” he said. “The Easter message is all about hope and looking forward to the future.”
Holy Week will begin on Thursday evening as churches in the diocese observe the Last Supper. Churches will be open for several ours in the evening for quiet prayer.
St. Francis de Sales church will be holding an afternoon mass on Good Friday at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the diocese will observe the Time of Waiting with readings from the Old Testament, prior to Easter Mass on Sunday.
Due to pandemic restrictions, churches will be limited to 15 per cent of their total capacity as well as requiring social distancing and mask wearing where needed.
The ceremonies for St. Frances de Sales Parish can also be viewed on Facebook via Facebook Live for those who cannot attend in person.
Father Kevin Maloney reminds readers however that everyone should check with their own parish prior to attending any events this Easter season, as each parish may have different schedules for the week’s events and observances.