Tonight, on the Monday of Holy Week, when representatives of every parish would have normally gathered in one place for the annual Chrism Mass, priests across the Diocese of Trenton will celebrate Mass from their respective churches, simultaneously, with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
They will renew their priestly commitment, and, in addition to any special intentions already requested in their parishes, will celebrate this special Mass for the people of the Diocese – all clergy, religious, seminarians and the laity. They also will include the intention of all those in the Diocese impacted by this pandemic: the dead; the infected and their loved ones; public officials; first responders; health care workers, and support staff.
Officially titled The Mass for Holy Week in the Time of Pandemic, the event was announced by Bishop O’Connell April 3 in a letter of invitation to the priests of the Diocese. He wrote, “I suggest this special Mass be celebrated simultaneously (at 7 p.m.) as a sign of our unity, fraternity and solidarity as priests during this time of pandemic.”
Reinforcing that the Mass cannot be open to the public, the Bishop advised that the priests, in observance of social distancing precautions, can be “together” in Masses celebrated throughout the Diocese on the same day and time. The Bishop added, “We need to support each other in prayer.”
For more on this Mass, and the “Renewal of Priestly Commitment” that the priests will take part in, visit coverage on TrentonMonitor.com.
It would be the decision of the local pastors to share their Mass with the public in a live video stream. Parishioners should check with parish websites to find out if a livestream is scheduled.
During this COVID-19 crisis and until further notice, Holy Communion can only be distributed to the faithful as Viaticum for the dying in the Diocese of Trenton.