Holy Week & Easter at Magdalen College

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The liturgical cycle of the Church and of our collegiate community reaches its pinnacle during Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum. During this solemn time, all of our efforts combine to render our best gifts of beauty to God. The liturgies, their music, their images, and their profound meaning constitute some of the fondest memories of our graduates. It is not uncommon for alumni to return to campus for the Triduum.

Preparations are nearly complete. The altar server team is hard at work. Music is being rehearsed and rehearsed again. The campus is being cleaned and brightened, with plans for flowers and decorations. Food is being planned and ingredients purchased. The entire college unites as we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Christ.

Magdalen College welcomes all alumni, friends of the college, and visitors to campus throughout Holy Week.


Palm Sunday, April 2
11:00 AM
Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Blessing of Palms, Outdoor Procession, & Solemn Sung Mass
Spy Wednesday, April 5
7:30 PM

Office of Tenebrae

Maundy Thursday, April 6
4:00 PM

Solemn Mass of the Supper of the Lord

Good Friday, April 7
3:00 PM

Solemn Commemoration of the Passion of the Lord

Holy Saturday, April 8
8:00 PM

The Great Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter

Easter Sunday, April 9
11:00 AM

The Resurrection of the Lord: Solemn Sung Mass of Easter Day

**For all other days of Holy Week, our normal schedule of Mass & Confessions is in effect.**

  • Palm Sunday begins with the Blessing of Palm Branches followed by an outdoor procession to Our Lady Queen of Apostles Chapel. Gregorian chant, such as the ancient antiphon Pueri Hebraeorum, punctuates the rites preceding the solemn liturgy which culminates in the chanting of the Passion and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
  • On Holy Tuesday, the Polyphony Choir will travel to the Cathedral of Saint Joseph to sing for the Chrism Mass. There, the bishop will consecrate the Holy Oils used at the Easter Vigil and throughout the year in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Anointing of the Sick. All the clergy will renew their vows of obedience to the bishop.
  • On Spy Wednesday, the Office of Tenebrae guides us prayerfully into the Triduum. Scripture readings from Isaiah and Lamentations intertwine with Gregorian chant to create a simple, yet exquisite tapestry.
  • The Solemn Mass of the Supper of the Lord on Maundy Thursday includes a choral setting of the Ordinary, the Mass of Ste. Cecilie. Following Mass, the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly transferred in procession to the Altar of Repose as the faithful chant the Pange lingua. The college Knights of Columbus council maintains vigil at the Altar of Repose throughout the night.
  • After observing three hours of silence on Good Friday, the chanting of the Reproaches turn our hearts and minds to Christ’s sacrifice. Saint John’s Passion is sung and the Holy Cross is venerated. After the Faithful receive the reserved Hosts which were consecrated on Maundy Thursday, they depart in silence. 
  • The Great Easter Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter begins outside as a newly kindled fire breaks the darkness of night. The Easter Candle is lit and born in procession to the chapel, and the priest proclaims the Exultet. At the Gloria, bells peal and the joyous music begins. Alleluias multiply. After Mass, celebrations continue well into the night with joy and feasting.
  • The morning of Easter, students return to the chapel to conclude Holy Week by offering thanksgiving to Christ through song and prayer. Christus Resurrexit! Resurrexit Vere, Alleluia!
  • On Divine Mercy Sunday (the Octave Day of Easter), the Magdalen College Choir will travel to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA, to sing for the solemn Mass and for the holy hour at the Great Hour of Mercy. This liturgy will be televised live on EWTN.

Learn more about Spiritual Life at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts.

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