Rosary Cathedral prepares for Holy Week in-person services

Last year the Rosary sat empty throughout the Easter holiday but now church staff believe they have enough precautions in place to celebrate their faith safely.
Published: Mar. 28, 2021 at 3:55 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Palms are in place and faith is strong inside Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral. The church is preparing for a full week of in-person celebrations honoring their devotion to Jesus Christ, all leading up to Easter Sunday.

“I am looking forward to celebrating Holy Week this year because we’re able to have people here,” said Monsignor William Kubacki. “Last year we were in total lockdown during Easter, and so it will be a grand celebration.”

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, a Vigil Mass was held at 5 p.m. Saturday and a second Mass will take place at 10 a.m. Sunday with Bishop Daniel E. Thomas, Celebrant and Homilist. The 10 a.m. Mass will be live-streamed. On Tuesday, Bishop Thomas will bless the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick as well as consecrate the Sacred Chrism. These holy oils will be used throughout the Diocese during the coming year in the celebration of the Sacraments. The Chrism Mass will begin at 11 a.m. This Mass is by invitation only and will be live-streamed. Holy Thursday Mass will begin at 7:30 p.m. This Mass will also be live-streamed. Good Friday Mass will take place at 3 p.m., with the traditional Adoration of the Cross during the Liturgy. This Mass will be live-streamed. An Easter Vigil will begin at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. It will include the Lighting of the Paschal Candle, the Liturgy of the Word, the Renewal of Baptismal Promises, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. Easter Sunday will have two Masses, at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The 10 a.m. Mass will be live-streamed.

“Pre-COVID for Easter I would probably say we would have a thousand people here,” " said Monsignor Kubacki. “COVID I don’t know because last year we had no one here. We’ll see what happens this year, but I think we’ll be at capacity, which is 50 percent of the Cathedral.”

Monsignor Kubacki explains every other pew is not in use, masks are required at all times, and multiples masses are being held on Easter to limit large crowds.

“We have through the last many months provided a healthy safe environment for people who come,” said Monsignor Kubacki. “I can rest assured that we’re doing the best we can to keep them safe.”

The Catholic Church is also taking a stance on COVID-19 vaccine distribution. The Toledo Dioceses joined Catholic Churches across the globe advising followers of their faith to choose the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine over the Johnson and Johnson, due to the J&J vaccine being made from cell lines originating from aborted fetuses.

“If they do not have a choice, it’s better to receive the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to help the common good,” said Kubacki.

Monsignor Kubacki says with more vaccines in arms, there will be more people in pews praying to God.

“Through science, we have to take care of ourselves, but I also believe that in faith we have to turn it all over to God and God will take care of us,” said Monsignor Kubacki.

The diocese asks anyone who might be compromised due to health reasons to celebrate with the live-streamed events on the diocese’s Facebook page and Bishop Daniel Thomas’s Facebook page.

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