PORTLAND---Bishop Robert P. Deeley will celebrate Palm Sunday Mass on April 14 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.
Palm Sunday is the start of Holy Week, the final week of Lent, which culminates with the Easter Triduum, during which Catholics commemorate the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Passion and Death of Christ on Good Friday, and the Resurrection on Easter Sunday in order to forgive the sins of all humanity and to give life everlasting to all who believe in Him. Holy Week is the most solemn week of the entire year.
Parishioners will be given palm branches as they enter the cathedral on Sunday. Palm branches were used by the people to welcome Jesus as King during his triumphal entry into the holy city of Jerusalem. The branches often decorate the homes of Catholics and other Christians; then, the following year, those same palms are burned, thus providing the ashes to be distributed on Ash Wednesday.
The vestments for Palm Sunday are deep scarlet red, the color of blood, reflecting the ultimate redemptive sacrifice that Christ was entering the city to fulfill: his passion, death, and resurrection in Jerusalem.
Special Palm Sunday events are scheduled at several Maine churches, including:
St. Ann, Perry
A Way of the Cross presentation will be offered at the Elders Way Meal Site next to St. Ann Church on 126 Bayview Drive in Perry. The presentation will begin at 2 p.m. At each station, enactors will present the events of the Lord’s Passion as passages from the Gospel are read. For more information, contact St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish at (207) 454-0680.
St. Anthony of Padua, Westbrook
All adults are invited to stop by the hall at St. Anthony of Padua Parish, located on 268 Brown Street in Westbrook, any time between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. for “Palm Weaving for Adults.” Palm weaving is a long-lasting European tradition found in many countries and today, many Catholics continue to enjoy renewing the art that has been passed down through the generations. There are simple designs that even beginners can try, including a classic cross, flower designs, spirals, a crown, braids, hearts, and others. There is no charge for the session, palms will be provided, and instruction will be offered. Organizers do ask that participants bring a pair of scissors with them.
St. Gerard-Mt. Carmel, Grand Isle
All are invited to join a palm braiding and weaving class from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the sacristy of St. Gerard-Mt. Carmel Church on 363 Main Street in Grand Isle. There is no cost to attend. Refreshments will be available. The event is sponsored by the Greater Grand Isle Historical Society.
St. Joseph, Farmington
Individuals and families are welcome to gather for palm weaving after the 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Joseph Church, located on 133 Middle Street in Farmington. Instruction will be offered for anyone who would like to learn this liturgical art that you can engage in year after year. Simple weavings will be taught for display in your homes.
A special Holy Week section is now available on the Diocese of Portland website that includes Mass times at all Maine parishes, listings of parish events, daily prayers and reflections, and many other resources.