The Catholic Diocese of Syracuse hosts in-person Holy Week services, but what are the changes?

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SYRACUSE, NY (WSYR-TV) – It’s Holy Week, and religious celebrations are shaping up to be more lively this year than last year.

It is the most sacred time of the year for those of the Christian faith. For the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, last year around this time all churches were empty due to the pandemic.

However, this year the pews across the parishes will be filled with members of the congregation.

Sure. I’m excited because that means it’s my first public Holy Week in Syracuse! Last year would have been my first Holy Week, and I had to do everything with less than 10 people in the church. So, I am delighted to be able to have a congregation and to be able to do the rights with the people who participate in it.

Bishop Douglas J. Lucia, Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse

Palm Sunday kicks off Holy Week, but due to the pandemic the distribution of palm trees is different.

Instead of handing out palm trees, church members simply pick them up from a table after they have been blessed.

Other changes include Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. This year, there will be no foot washing to commemorate the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. On Good Friday, worship will consist of either a bow or a genuflection, rather than people kissing the cross.

“We have been blessed to have been very safe in our gatherings and we say it is because of our security protocols that we use,” – Bishop Douglas J. Lucia

Although there is a change in traditions, Bishop Lucia says that the meaning of Holy Week will always remain the same.

“For me a big picture for everyone this year is that the God who leads us into this promised land, the God who brought us out of the oppression of this pandemic into a future, as one of the prophets would say . , prophet Jeremiah, a future full of hope. So, for me, what I find this week is something very promising ”, explained Mgr Lucia.

A reason for all of us to keep the faith as we continue to navigate life during this pandemic.

For more information on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, click here.



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