The monks celebrated Holy Week and Easter alone this year as there were no guests due to the pandemic. However, they remembered all their families, friends, benefactors and guests in their prayers.
On Passion Sunday, the palm was blessed, and the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was celebrated. On Holy Thursday, Father Joe washed the feet of all the brothers as a sign of the service that Jesus performed with his apostles at the Last Supper. At the afternoon liturgy, the Lord’s Supper was commemorated, and afterwards there was a procession to the Blessed Sacrament chapel, reminding us of Jesus’ walk to the Garden of Gethsemane. On Good Friday, the Passion was read, and there was the tradition of kissing the cross and the distribution of Holy Communion. On Holy Saturday night, the community gathered outside for the lighting of the Easter fire from which the Easter candle was lit, and the monks joyfully proclaimed ‘Alleluia.’ The alleluias this year, of course, were said in the context of the sad events in which we are living throughout the world. While we have hope, the monks share in the sadness and sympathy for all those who are affected by the pandemic.