1. We’re entering into Holy Week. This week, there are three very special liturgies in the Catholic Church: the Mass on Holy Thursday; the liturgy on Good Friday; and the Easter Vigil Mass. These three days are called the Triduum, and you can read all about what happens at each liturgy on our website.
All these liturgies will be offered in Polish only. If you live far from our church and you rely on public transport, it would probably be best for you to go to the church nearest you, since you will find that public transport is often quite poor by the time you get out of Mass (busses and trams coming only once or twice per hour later at night). If you go to a church far from your home, you might need to arrange for a taxi to take you home, especially after the Easter Vigil Mass.
To find out when the liturgies will take place in your nearest parish, look for the announcements posted outside the church (ogłoszenia) or go to the parish’s website and use Google to translate the announcements into your own language.
Remember that during the Triduum, all parishes only have one liturgy. This means that everyone in the parish who wishes to attend the liturgy on that day will be in the church. In other words, it will be very, very crowded! If you want a chance of a seat, you should arrive at least 1/2 hour before the service begins. If you need to sit, arrive about an hour early. The church fills fast, and late-comers will find themselves standing for some quite long liturgies.
Here are the events in St Charles (Św Karol) parish during the Triduum:
- Holy Thursday Mass: 18:00
After Mass, the church will be open for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 22:00.
- On Good Friday, the church will be open starting at 6:30AM. You can go into virtually any church in Wroclaw all day on Friday to spend time praying before the Blessed Sacrament.
The Stations of the Cross will be at 15:00 on Good Friday. If you want to participate, you can simply look up online and print out meditations on the Stations of the Cross in your own language, print them out, and follow along the devotion as well as you can using your own meditations.
The Good Friday liturgy of the Passion will be at 18:00.
There will be Stations of the Cross at 22:00 as well on Friday. Bring a candle if you attend the evening Stations of the Cross.
On Good Friday, you can pray before the Blessed Sacrament at the ‘tomb’ of Christ until 23:00.
- On Holy Saturday, the church will be open at 6:30 for Adoration until 20:00. Blessing of Easter Foods (Polish-style Easter baskets) will take place between 10:00 and 16:00 at intervals of 1/2 hour.
From 16:00 to 19:00 on Holy Saturday, the church will be closed for cleaning.
The Holy Saturday Easter Vigil Mass will begin at 21:30 with the blessing of the fire and preparation of the Paschal Candle outside the main entrance of the church (you can stay inside during this ceremony if you came early – most people do).
Bring candles for the Easter Vigil liturgy, as the Mass begins in darkness and everyone lights a candle from the Paschal Candle when it is brought into the church in procession.
3. Our Easter Sunday Mass is at 16:00.
4. Easter Monday is not a Holy Day of Obligation. It is a national holiday, however, and Poles traditionally attend Mass on Easter Monday. So if you wish to come to Mass on the holiday, Masses in all parishes are on the Sunday Mass schedule. There will not be an English Mass on Easter Monday.
5. You will notice a large basket inside the gates between the Mary Chapel and the church. This basket is for donations of non-perishable food as well as cleaning supplies (both personal hygiene and household cleaning supplies, as well as personal hygiene for babies). Your donations are made up into parcels for the most needy families in the parish, and are distributed by volunteers in the parish.
Easter and Christmas are special times of collecting food and other items for the poor of the parish; however if you have food, clothing, toys, etc., that are in good condition, and you would like to donate them to the poor, let our priest know what you have and he can help you with donating any of your cast-off items at any time of the year. By all means, ask in the parish, first, before you simply dispose of items that are in good condition, but which you no longer need.
6. Good Friday is when we begin the Novena of Divine Mercy. This devotion has great graces attached to it. The novena ends on April 23, Divine Mercy Sunday. You can get a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday if you pray the novena, go to confession (your confession before Easter suffices if you have not committed any mortal sins and have no attachment to sin), attend Mass and take communion, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father (usually, an Our Father and a Hail Mary).