Diocese of San Jose Sets Holy Week Livestream Schedule; Adapts Liturgical Celebrations During Pandemic

Diocese of San Jose
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SAN JOSE, CA – While Holy Week is one of the most sacred times of the year for Christians, the Coronavirus pandemic has caused the global Catholic community to adjust their spiritual practices to comply with stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements.

“Holy Week is meant to remind us of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ leading to the joy of His Resurrection,” explained Bishop Oscar Cantú of the Diocese of San José. “Although we are unable to come together as a community this year, our parishes are doing their part to help ‘flatten the curve’ by finding creative ways to continue our ministry: livestreaming liturgies, activating phone trees to check on vulnerable parishioners, and offering drive-through Confession and online retreats. Though we will be apart physically, we are working to bring our communities together virtually, as one family in Christ, to celebrate this most sacred of weeks.”

Since March 13, all public Masses in the Diocese of San José have been suspended until further notice, in line with the State and County Health Departments’ Stay-at-Home orders. All Holy Week celebrations, which will be closed to the public, will be livestreamed and have been modified in accord with recent guidelines published by the Vatican. The schedule of Diocesan Holy Week celebrations with Bishop Cantú is listed below. Parishes within the Diocese of San José have their own Holy Week livestream schedules. Catholics are also encouraged to check with their local parish for details.

Liturgical Adaptions

Palm Sunday

Holy Week begins this Sunday, April 5, with Palm Sunday celebrations commemorating the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem. Parishioners often look forward to the beginning of Mass on Palm Sunday, which traditionally begins distribution and blessing of palms and a procession of the blessed palms during the entrance rite. Because there will be no assembly, this year’s Palm Sunday Masses will include a simple entrance, in which the priest proceeds to the altar during a regular entrance procession and continues Mass in the usual way. No palms will be distributed this year.

Holy Week Prayer during the Coronavirus with Bishop Cantú

Bishop Cantú invites all to join virtually as he leads a special Holy Week Prayer on the evening of Palm Sunday to pray for the healing of our community and world and for renewed strength as Catholics deal with the effects of the Coronavirus crisis and prepare to encounter the Lord during this most sacred of weeks. The prayer will include Scripture and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Holy Thursday

On the morning of April 9, Bishop Cantú will celebrate the Chrism Mass, in which he will bless and consecrate the Holy Oils. The oils are used in liturgies and sacraments by all parishes throughout the year also. Typically, during the annual Chrism Mass, all of the clergy from the Diocese gather to celebrate the liturgy and renew their priestly promises. This year, while the holy oils will be blessed, the renewal of the promises of priests will be rescheduled for the Fall.

In the evening, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be celebrated privately at parishes. This year’s the traditional washing of the feet, which is already optional, will be omitted. At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose will be omitted.

Good Friday

Good Friday is the one day in the year that no Masses are celebrated. In remembrance of Jesus’ suffering and death on the Cross, Catholics gather for a Communion service and to venerate the Holy Cross. This year on April 10, the Good Friday Liturgy will include a special intention for the sick, the dead, and for those who feel lost or dismayed. Bishop Cantu has also instructed all priests to include in the Solemn Intercessions a special intention for an end to the pandemic. During livestream services on Good Friday, Catholics are invited to either genuflect or profoundly bow to their cross at home during the Adoration of the Holy Cross.


Holy Week culminates with Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 11, and Easter on Sunday, April 12. Traditionally, during the Easter Vigil (which occurs after sunset), the Easter fire is kindled, and the Paschal candle is blessed and lit—but this year, the lightning of the fire and the procession will be omitted. Also, the Rite of Christian Initiation, usually celebrated during the Easter Vigil, has been postponed.

Diocese of San José and Bishop Cantú’s Holy Week Schedule:

The following services will be livestreamed on www.facebook.com/diocesesanjose.

Recordings will also be posted at www.dsj.org/vlog.

Palm Sunday – Sunday, April 5

10:00 a.m.         Livestream Mass – Spanish with Bishop Oscar Cantú

11:30 a.m.         Livestream Mass – English with Bishop Oscar Cantú

1:00 p.m.          Livestream Mass – Vietnamese with Father Hao Dinh

7:00 p.m.          Livestream Holy Week Prayer during the Coronavirus with Bishop Cantú

Holy Thursday – Thursday, April 9

10:00 a.m.         Livestream Chrism Mass with Bishop Oscar Cantú

7:00 p.m.          Livestream Mass – Trilingual (English, Spanish and Vietnamese) with Bishop Oscar Cantú

Good Friday – Friday, April 10

7:00 p.m.          Livestream Service – Bilingual (English and Spanish) with Bishop Oscar Cantú

Easter Vigil – Saturday, April 11

8:30 p.m.          Livestream Mass – Bilingual (English and Spanish) with Bishop Oscar Cantú

Easter – Sunday, April 12

10:00 a.m.         Livestream Mass – English with Bishop Oscar Cantú

11:30 a.m.         Livestream Mass – Spanish with Bishop Oscar Cantú

1:00 p.m.          Livestream Mass – Vietnamese with Father Hao Dinh

Schedule of the Holy Week Services at parishes across the Diocese can be found at www.dsj.org/2020-easter-triduum-schedule