Meditations to Accompany You Through Holy Week

The ancient and mysterious ceremonies of the Church’s Holy Week merit a great deal of time for preparation and prayer. Those confined to their homes due to the coronavirus in this exceptional year will be consoled by the detailed descriptions provided by Dom Prosper Guéranger, the 19th C. abbot who re-established the Benedictine monastery at Solesmes, France. As featured here before, St. Francis de Sales Parish, our apostolate in Atlanta, has been digitizing his 15-volume series The Liturgical Year and making it available via email for those who would like to receive every entry in their inboxes (subscribe here: We will be posting links to the Holy Week entries throughout the coming days.

Dom Guéranger’s work includes descriptions, along with the Latin liturgical texts and translations into English, of many special parts of this most important week in the year. It is important to note that he describes the ceremonies that were celebrated by the Church before the changes to the Holy Week liturgies in the 1950s. Many FSSP apostolates have received special permission from the Holy See to use the older ceremonies.

We will begin our meditations today, with Dom Guéranger’s entry for the Monday in Holy Week.

This morning, also, Jesus goes with His disciples to Jerusalem. He is fasting, for the Gospel tells us that He was hungry, He approaches a fig-tree, which is by the way-side; but finds nothing on it, save leaves only. Jesus, wishing to give us an instruction, curses the fig-tree, which immediately withers away. He would hereby teach us what they are to expect, who have nothing but good desires, and never produce in themselves the fruit of a real conversion. Nor is the allusion to Jerusalem less evident. This city is zealous for the exterior of divine worship; but her heart is hard and obstinate, and she is plotting, at this very hour, the death of the Son of God.

You can read the rest of today’s entry here, and livestream the liturgies of Holy Week on LiveMass. +

April 6, 2020