Diocese of Rockville Centre

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, April 4, 2006 -- The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre will lead several liturgies during Holy Week (April 10—14, 2006) and Easter Sunday (April 16, 2006).

Sunday, April 9: Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
St. Agnes Cathedral -- 11:00 a.m. Mass

Bishop Murphy will bless the palms in memory of Christ’s journey to Jerusalem. The blessing of palms will also occur at all churches in the diocese. The Gospel of the day is the Passion of Jesus according to St. Mark.

Monday, April 10, 2006: Reconciliation Monday
All Churches in the Diocese of Rockville Centre
3:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

The Monday of Holy Week has been traditionally a day where all Catholics of the diocese are invited to come and be reconciled, so that we might celebrate the Paschal Mystery with heart and mind renewed. Priests will be available for the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 3:00 – 9:00 p.m. at all churches on Long Island.

Thursday, April 13, 2006: Holy Thursday
9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer, St. Agnes Cathedral

11:00 a.m. Chrism Mass, St. Agnes Cathedral

Bishop Murphy, with priests, deacons and people from throughout the diocese will celebrate this Mass. Special oils that parishes use to administer the sacraments during the upcoming year are consecrated during this Mass.

8:00 p.m. Mass of the Lord’s Supper, St. Agnes Cathedral

This Mass begins the Triduum, the final three days before Easter. Bishop Murphy will wash the feet of 12 men, as Christ washed the feet of the apostles during the Last Supper. Following the Mass, the altar and sanctuary will be stripped of all ornamentation to prepare for Good Friday, the day Jesus was crucified and died. The Blessed Sacrament is moved in a solemn procession from the Cathedral to the St. Agnes Parish Center, which will remain open until 11 p.m.

Friday, April 14, 2006: Good Friday
9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer, St. Agnes Cathedral

3:00 p.m. Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion and Veneration of the Cross, St. Agnes Cathedral

Bishop Murphy presides at the Liturgy of the Word and Veneration of the Cross, during which people will come forward to kiss the cross. A Communion service follows.

Saturday, April 15, 2006: Holy Saturday
9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer, St. Agnes Cathedral

8:00 p.m. Easter Vigil, St. Agnes Cathedral

Bishop Murphy will bless a roaring Easter fire on the steps of the darkened St. Agnes Cathedral. From the fire, the large Paschal (Easter) candle and then small candles held by each member of the congregation are lit one by one, as the praise of the Easter candle and the risen Christ are sung. During Mass, the alleluia, which has been silenced all during Lent, is again heard, and the catechumens are baptized and confirmed into the Catholic Church.

Sunday, April 16, 2006: Easter Sunday

11:00 a.m. Easter Mass, St. Agnes Cathedral

Bishop William Murphy will celebrate this Easter Sunday Mass in which Catholics renew their baptismal promises and celebrate the risen Christ.

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.3 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 20,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 20,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,137 students in Catholic kindergarten, 23,825 in primary or elementary school, 12,628 in secondary school and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 76 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home-care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 80,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. For more information, visit www.drvc.org.

Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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