Archdiocese of Newark Announces Holy Week Schedule |  March 13, 2024

As the season of Lent draws to a close, Catholics prepare to observe Holy Week to commemorate Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. The nearly 1.3 million Catholics worshiping in the Archdiocese of Newark’s 212 parishes throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties will mark the days leading to Easter Sunday on March 31 with a full range of liturgies — Mass, Stations of the Cross, prayer services, and more.

2024 Holy Week Schedule

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, will preside at liturgies as follows:

March 24 | Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord

Cardinal Tobin will preside at the noon Palm Sunday Mass at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Verona. Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant arrival in Jerusalem. During Mass, Catholics will hear the gospel account of the Passion and Crucifixion of Christ. Blessed palm fronds representing the palm branches the crowds scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into the city will be distributed.

March 25 | Chrism Mass | Mass of the Holy Oils

Cardinal Tobin will preside at the 8 p.m. Chrism Mass at Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Catholics will witness the blessing of the Chrism, a mixture of oil and balsam, or balm, used in archdiocesan parishes throughout the coming year for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, the anointing of the sick, and to anoint newly ordained priests and deacons. Chrism also is used to bless altars and churches. At the conclusion of the Chrism Mass, representatives from each parish receive the newly blessed oils in the name of their communities. The Mass, celebrated annually in every diocese of the Universal Church, also calls on all clergy of the Archdiocese present to renew their promises of ordination. This Mass welcomes all those who share in church ministries, including those in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), baptism, and confirmation programs.

March 28 | Holy Thursday | Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Cardinal Tobin will preside at the bilingual 7:30 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which commemorates Christ’s washing of the feet and the Eucharist’s institution during the Last Supper. During this Mass, in imitation of Jesus’ humility and actions at the Last Supper, Cardinal Tobin will wash the feet of representatives of the Cathedral Basilica’s parish community. After Mass, the Cathedral Basilica’s sanctuary will be stripped of all décor, and the crucifix will be covered by purple cloth in preparation for the solemn Good Friday liturgy.

March 29 | Good Friday | Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion

Cardinal Tobin will preside at the 3 p.m. Good Friday Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart to commemorate Christ’s suffering and death through prayer, silence, and Adoration of the Cross. A Spanish-language liturgy will then commence at 5 p.m., followed by a choral adaptation of the Stations of the Cross performed by the Cathedral Choir at 8 p.m.

March 30 | Holy Saturday | Easter Vigil 

Cardinal Tobin will celebrate the bilingual Easter Vigil Mass beginning at 8:30 p.m. in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The Easter Vigil, which begins after nightfall, is the first and most important celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection. At this liturgy, Catholics will celebrate the festival of light, symbolizing the Light of the Resurrection seen in the new fire, the Easter or Paschal candle lit within a darkened cathedral. The “Alleluia” will be praised for the first time since the start of Lent. New members of the Catholic Church — the RCIA catechumens — also will be welcomed into the faith at this Mass and will receive the sacraments of baptism, Eucharist, and confirmation.

March 31 | Easter Sunday | Resurrection of Our Lord

Following an English-language Mass at 8:30 a.m. and a Spanish-language Mass at 10 a.m., Cardinal Tobin will celebrate his own Easter Sunday liturgy in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart at noon. The Easter Sunday Mass adheres closely to the traditional liturgical format, so it does not include the solemn ceremonies featured in the Easter Vigil. However, each liturgy commemorates the miracle of Christ’s Resurrection. Therefore, Catholics are not obligated to attend both.

All Holy Week liturgies at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart will be live streamed through the Archdiocese of Newark’s YouTube channel and Facebook page as well as the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.