Archbishop O’Brien celebrates first Passion Sunday Mass

“Beautiful” and “very majestic” were the words Guilford resident Madeleine Ranieri used to describe the Passion Sunday Mass celebrated by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien March 16 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Homeland.

It was the first time Mrs. Ranieri and her husband attended a Mass with the archbishop, who was celebrating his first Palm Sunday Mass in Baltimore.

“This is a very special Mass, one that I look forward to every year,” said Mrs. Ranieri, who has been a Cathedral parishioner for five years.

The co-cathedral’s altar was draped in red, as was the table holding a basket of palms, which were distributed to members of the congregation. Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem was marked by the waving of palm fronds by the crowd.

“We reach the pinnacle of Lent on this Palm Sunday,” Archbishop O’Brien told the congregation at the cathedral’s 11 a.m. Mass. Jesus “marches voluntarily to his death.”

During the reading of the Passion, the archbishop recounted the historic events of Holy Week, including: the betrayal of Jesus by Judas, the suicide of Judas, the Last Supper, the arrest of Christ, the three times Jesus is denied by Peter, Pontius Pilate washing his hands of the execution, the crucifixion and the securing of the tomb.

Three mysteries are offered during Holy Week and Easter – the suffering and death (Passion) of Jesus, the resurrection and the Eucharist (body of Christ), Archbishop O’Brien said.

“Thanks to so many in this parish,” Archbishop O’Brien said, “who have made this a solid house of prayer.”

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.