Celebrating the Triduum in the Time of Covid-19
The diocese is postponing the Chrism Mass until a date to be announced in the future. Meanwhile parishes should not dispose of their oils at this time.
The Easter Feasts may not be changed or postponed. Live televised or internet broadcasts may be used but they should not be recorded.
Palm Sunday: No distribution of palms in the diocese in any way. There will be Masses broadcast from Serra House: 9:00 AM – Spanish; 11:00 AM – English. Broadcasts from individual parishes may continue as they have been (with only a videographer, presider and reader.) It was suggested that people could gather green branches from their homes, hold them up when the branches are blessed in the televised Masses, sprinkle them with water, and display them in their homes with a cross – or display them on their front doors as a witness.
Holy Thursday: Bilingual Celebration of the Lord’s Supper will be broadcast from Serra House at 6 PM. The decree from the Congregation for Divine Worship points out that the washing of the feet is optional and is to be omitted this year. There is no procession with the Blessed Sacrament, which should simply be returned to the tabernacle. For the Mass broadcast from Serra House the Blessed Sacrament will remain on the altar for some time for adoration and contemplation.
Good Friday: Stations of the Cross will be celebrated and broadcast from Serra House bilingually at noon. The Passion of the Lord will be celebrated bilingually and broadcast as usual from Serra House at 6 PM. People in their homes might wish to prepare an altar with a cross or crucifix for veneration during the 3 hours. There must be no physical veneration, however: no touching or kissing.
The Vatican has allowed an extra intercession for the end of the pandemic for the Good Friday intercessions.
Vigil: A Bilingual celebration will be broadcast from Serra House at 8 PM. Whether at the parishes or Serra house, the blessing and lighting of the fire is omitted, but those present could light candles from the Paschal Candle being careful to maintain proper distance. The Exultet is proclaimed (or sung) and the Liturgy of the Word follows. The fewest amount of readings (3) in addition to the Epistle and the Gospel may be used.
For the baptismal Liturgy all that is needed is the renewal of Baptismal promises. The blessing and sprinkling of water is omitted.
In vigil celebrations without any assembly at all, the Easter Candle is simply lit.
Easter Sunday: The Mass could be livestreamed as usual with the renewal of baptismal promises in place of the Creed. In parishes where the Vigil has not been celebrated, the Candle may be prepared as usual, displayed during the Easter Mass, and incensed.
Please note: There is to be no celebration of the sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) during this time of pandemic unless it is for a person in danger of death.
Wednesday of Easter Week (April15, 2020): A bilingual Mass will be offered for all who have died in this pandemic. Time will be announced.