Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, an Italian National Parish in San Diego's Little Italy, in April 2019, pic by Christopher Forte
Ciao! It is Holy Week for us Catholics and my parish is just so beautiful I have to share it! It is an Italian National Parish in a Little Italy neighborhood after all. While the traditions during Holy Week are not too different from any other Catholic parish, or many Christian churches in general, I hope you enjoy this and it inspires you to be active in your faith, whatever faith that may be, and to perhaps once we are out of the worst of this pandemic, you visit us! Just before this, of course, was Lent, the time of year we Christians attempt to mimic Jesus who went into the wilderness for 40 days and nights where He fasted, prayed, and was able to resist the temptations of the devil (not that He could give in anyways, having no sin.) It is a time when we also prepare ourselves for the great gift of God's forgiveness and reconciliation in his death on the cross and resurrection by fasting, abstaining from certain foods and behaviors, sacrificing something that gives us pleasure (some give up the internet lol), praying, and giving alms to the poor, or perhaps giving more alms (donations) to the poor than usual.
Like many parishes, Our Lady of the Rosary offered Fish Fry dinners not just as a way to build a sense of community and make sure its parishioners were only eating fish on Friday lol, but as a church fundraiser as well. There would be one major dinner to kick it off, then every Friday during Lent one of the parish's societies (and there's millions! lol), would sponsor one. Below are photos of the last Lenten Fish Fry dinner in 2019 as sponsored by the church society called the Sons of the Fishmongers. Below that is a clip of the Friday Stations of the Cross. Then you will see Holy Week, starting with Holy Thursday.
What about you? If you're Catholic, feel free to share what your parish does or what you do personally for Holy Week. If you are not Catholic, please feel free to share what you do this time of year, regardless. I want to share my Italian American heritage, including my Italian Catholic faith, with the world, and I want the world to share their heritage and faith with me.
Last Lenten Fish Fry Dinner 2019:
Stations of the Cross:
Holy Week, also known as the Triduum, starts with Holy Thursday where Jesus instituted the priesthood and the Eucharist. He also washed the feet of His disciples as an example for them to follow, to show that to lead one must be ready to serve. Here are parts of the Holy Thursday Mass, including the Feet Washing and Eucharistic procession:
Next is Good Friday. This is the night, of course, where Jesus is put on the cross and suffers just before death, also knowns as Good Friday of the Lord's Passion. We traditionally read aloud together the whole Gospel portion like a play, with the parishioners acting as the crowds, the Lecter as Pontius Pilate, and the priest as Jesus. Then there is the Veneration of the Cross where we contemplate what Jesus did for us by gazing at it and some even go up and kiss it, venerating it. I don't have any photos or videos of this.
Finally, there is the Saturday evening Easter Vigil that is technically the beginning of Easter Sunday, being that the next day begins at sundown and we also celebrate the Lord's death and resurrection this night. During the Mass new converts and fallen away Catholics who found their way back home are welcomed back into the church, some are baptized.
This is a short clip of the procession and opening:
These two clips are of my favorite part of the Easter Vigil: the Litany of the Saints:
Closing Recession & Hymn "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" 2019:
Little Italy. Location: 1629 Columbia St. San Diego, CA 92101