Throughout the Diocese of Raleigh, Catholic churches marked the end of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week with Palm Sunday Celebrations. Palm Sunday celebrates the triumphant entry of Jesus into the city of Jerusalem in the days leading to His crucifixion.
At St. Raphael Catholic Church in Raleigh, which serves a large Hispanic population, hundreds celebrated Palm Sunday Mass. Beginning in the courtyard, a group of the faithful re-enacted Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem, entering the Church while saluting with blessed palms.
At Sacred Heart Cathedral, Raleigh, the faithful gathered with Bishop Burbidge in the courtyard for the blessing of the palms and processed into the church.
In his homily, Bishop Burbidge welcomed the faithful to enter “the week we call ‘holy’” by celebrating the sacred mysteries and the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. “With God’s grace,” the Bishop urged, “do everything possible to make sure this week is different from all others.”
The Bishop encouraged all the faithful to “re-read the Passion slowly, prayerfully and to meditate upon it.” He also offered these suggestions:
- Attend the Chrism Mass on Tuesday, April 19, at St. Thomas More Parish at 2:00 pm.
- Participate in the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday, April 21, at the Cathedral.
- On Friday, “unite your sufferings with the Lord and try to attend the Sacred Liturgy. There, you will reverence the cross on which hung the Savior of the World.”
- “With parishioners and family, gather in joyful hope on Easter to celebrate the new life that is ours in Christ Jesus, who was raised from the dead and gives us a share in His victory.”
“I am convinced,” the Bishop concluded, “that the one message the Lord wants to penetrate our hearts as we meditate upon His suffering, death and resurrection is the great love that He has for us: a love without conditions, a love without limits, and a love without end!”
Above: Hundreds gather at St. Raphael the Archangel Parish for the blessing of the palms.
Above: Bishop Burbidge blesses palms and the faithful at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Above: Palm Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral.