A Holy Week to Remember

Most of us have never experienced a Holy Week quite like this one. Someday when a generation yet unborn asks us about these strange and difficult days, perhaps the most striking thing that we will remember is the fact that, during the most sacred time of the year, most of us were forced to stay far away from the liturgies we as Catholics love so dearly. It was certainly an unexpected and heavy cross to carry, to enter into the Passion to the extent that we were imitating Our Lord even in His isolation, His solitude.

A “parking lot Mass” at FSSP Minneapolis on Palm Sunday

But when a priest offers his life to God, he is obliging himself to care for God’s flock in both feast and famine, the good times and the bad. As the coronavirus closed their parishes, FSSP pastors all over the globe sprang into action to bring Christ to their faraway sheep, opening churches for prayer, hearing Confessions within distancing parameters, giving Communion where it was permitted, and setting up livestreams of Masses, Stations of the Cross, Rosaries and spiritual talks. FSSP Minneapolis celebrated Mass in a large parking lot as the faithful participated from their cars; on Palm Sunday, the attendees received palms from gloved hands through their rolled-down windows. Other parishes saved palms to be given to the faithful later. FSSP Tacoma conducted Easter House Blessings from porches and front yards.

Fr. Adams gives blessings from the sky

FSSP Maple Hill also utilized their parking lot space, offering liturgies where an FM transmitter enabled the faithful to tune in via their car radios. Maundy Thursday’s Altar of Repose was set up in an open garage where the adorers could spend time with Our Lord from afar. On Holy Tuesday, assistant pastor Fr. Martin Adams, holy water in hand, took to the skies in the passenger seat of a Cessna Skyhawk piloted by a parishioner to bless the houses of the faithful far below!

Easter Vigil at FSSP Kraków, who livestreamed their pre-1955 ceremonies

During the liturgies of the Triduum, the doors of most churches were closed. But behind those doors, their voices echoing through empty naves, clergy, servers and skeleton-crew choirs carried on the holy minutes of those most holy hours, the Church’s liturgical life moving forward even when the whole world seems to have ground to a halt. And though the pews may have been empty and the Communion lines non-existent, Catholics across the world were watching and praying – LiveMass offered no less than 12 streams of the Triduum, apostolates with their own streaming setup offered many more, and most of these streams are continuing now. Liturgies, celebrated across hemispheres, timezones, state and country borders – with homilies in English, Spanish, French, Italian, even Polish – were heard loud and clear thousands of miles away. During Holy Week 2020, in the midst of near-universal lockdown and separation, never was it more evident that our Faith knows no border, no constraint of time or space.

We thought we’d give you a head start on our accustomed Easter photopost with some of the photos we’ve received thus far from this most unusual Holy Week. We’ll post more as they come in. +

FSSP Minneapolis

Church of All Saints
Palm Sunday
Photos by Lucas Brown


FSSP Maple Hill

St. John Vianney Chapel
Holy Tuesday Aerial House Blessings, Holy Thursday, Good Friday


FSSP Kraków

Church of St. Lazarus, Kraków, Poland
Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil (pre-1955)
Photos by Tomasz Mróz


Priesterseminar Sankt Petrus

Wigratzbad, Germany
Palm Sunday, Tenebrae, Easter Vigil


FSSP Guadalajara

Nuestra Señora del Pilar
Good Friday, Easter Vigil (pre-1955)



Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini
Good Friday, Easter Vigil (pre-1955)
Photos courtesy of SS. Trinità dei Pellegrini

April 17, 2020