The Diocese of Wilmington has released Bishop Koenig’s schedule for Holy Week 2023. The services over which the bishop will preside are some of the most beautiful liturgies of the Catholic church and include the Chrism Mass, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, and the Easter Vigil.
Bishop Koenig will spend all day Saturday, April 1, with hundreds of youth and adult volunteers from all over Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore as they carry a wooden cross through the streets of Wilmington as part of the annual Diocese of Wilmington’s youth pilgrimage. Sponsored by the Office of Catholic Youth, Young Adult, and Family Ministry of the Diocese of Wilmington, the event features a concert, prayer, a visit to Saint Francis Hospital, the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession), Stations of the Cross, and Eucharistic Adoration, during stops at five Wilmington locations. The bishop will conclude the pilgrimage by celebrating the 4:00 p.m. Palm Sunday Vigil Mass at St. Elizabeth Church, Cedar and Clayton Streets in Wilmington.
On Sunday, April 2, Bishop Koenig will celebrate Palm Sunday Mass at the historic Cathedral of Saint Peter, Sixth and West Streets in Wilmington, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
On Monday, April 3, Bishop Koenig, along with priests throughout the diocese, will hear confessions during Reconciliation Monday. Catholic residents of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore, are invited to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation at any of the 56 parish churches in the diocese, anytime from 3-8 p.m. Reconciliation Monday is designed to make it more convenient for Catholics to receive the sacrament at the end of Lent and beginning of Holy Week, in anticipation of the celebration of Easter.
On Tuesday, April 4 Bishop Koenig will join with priests from all over the diocese for the annual Chrism Mass to be held at Holy Cross Church on South State Street in Dover. At the Chrism Mass, which begins at 7 p.m., the bishop will consecrate the perfumed oil known as Sacred Chrism, to be used throughout the diocese for baptisms, confirmations and ordinations as well as the other oils used in the ministering to catechumens, those coming into the church, and to the sick. The priests of the diocese will renew their priestly promises at this Mass.
At 7 p.m. on Holy Thursday, April 6, the bishop will preside at one of the most poignant ceremonies of the church year: the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, to be held at the Cathedral of Saint Peter. At this special Mass when Christ’s Last Supper is commemorated; the celebrant will often wash the feet of twelve people, recreating what Jesus did to his apostles as reported in the 13th chapter of the Gospel of St. John.
On Good Friday, April 7 at 3 p.m., the bishop will preside at the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Wilmington. This solemn service commemorates the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
The evening of Holy Saturday, April 8, brings the majesty of the Easter Vigil Mass featuring the blessing of fire, water and the Easter candle. In many Catholic churches, the Easter Vigil also includes the baptism, confirmation and first holy communion of individuals who are joining the Catholic church. This year, the bishop will be celebrating the Easter Vigil Mass at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Wilmington, beginning at 8 p.m.
All Masses and services are open to the public and all are cordially invited. Events at the Cathedral of Saint Peter will be livestreamed on the Diocese of Wilmington’s YouTube channel – YouTube.com/DioceseofWilm.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 27 schools serving the state of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Information about the diocese is available at www.cdow.org.