Holy Week

Walk With Jesus: Stations of the Cross and Palm Procession

Two opportunities to walk with Jesus during Lent are coming in the next few days:

Stations of the Cross Friday night in the church beginning a 7:00 PM. If you haven't gotten a chance to go to confession during Lent, there are also confessions immediately after Stations of the Cross at approximately 7:30 PM.

Procession of Palm on this coming Sunday from the easternmost part of our parish in Sea Bright to the 10:30 AM Mass at Holy Cross. We will gather in the public parking lot in Seabright and after a blessing of the palms, begin processing to Holy Cross at approximately 10:15 AM. Please join us to witness our faith and support each other in prayer as Holy Week begins.


Mass of the Lord's Supper Tonight

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Join us in prayer tonight for Holy Thursday's Mass of the Lord's Supper, part of the sacred three days called the triduum. Tonight's mass will begin with the formal reception of the holy oils blessed  by Bishop O'Connell and the priests of the diocese last Monday evening. 

The Eucharist will include the customary foot washing on Holy Thursday and be followed by the solemn procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the chapel of repose (our daily mass chapel). There the Blessed Sacrament will remain exposed for adoration until night prayer at 11 PM. 

If you are unable to attend the mass, plan on spending some time with the Lord in our chapel anytime before 11 PM. 


Join In the Palm Sunday Procession


Join us this coming Sunday at 10 AM in the municipal parking lot in Sea Bright for a procession to the 10:30 AM mass at Holy Cross Rumson.

The children's choir will be joining us. This year we have an additional banner of Jesus' Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem which will help passers-by understand the reason for our procession. I guess a bit of drive-by catechesis.

A public prayerful witness to our faith and our church is so important; please join us.

The procession will begin at 10:15 AM in order to arrive in time for the 10:30 mass.


Mass of the Lord's Supper This Evening at 7:00 PM


Join us tonight for the Mass of the Lord's Supper as we begin the sacred time leading to Easter. This mass is the only mass, aside from the Chrism Mass, which can be celebrated on Holy Thursday, so when we gathered in the chapel this morning at the usual mass time, we prayed Morning Prayer.

At tonight's mass, the Holy Oils will be received - the Sacred Chrism, Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens which were blessed by bishop and priests at the Trenton diocese's Chrism mass last Monday.

The Washing of Feet will also take place at tonight's liturgy - an optional symbolic commemoration of Jesus' humble act of service to his disciples.  

When we have finished Communion, the Blessed Sacrament will be taken from the altar to the Chapel of Repose in a candlelight procession, where adoration will continue until Night Prayer at  11:00 PM.

Please join us for the Mass at 7:00 PM or feel free to stop and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for a few moments or join us for Night Prayer at  11 PM.

May the Eucharist strengthen our faith, and the hope of the Resurrection guide our steps as we prepare to walk with Christ to Calvary on Good Friday.


Chrism Mass Tonight In Trenton

42txThe priests of our diocese will gather around Bishop O'Connell this evening at St. Mary's Cathedral in Trenton to celebrate the Chrism Mass, since the Sacred Chrism will be blessed during this important diocesan liturgy. The Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens will also be blessed at this mass. After the mass, portions of each of the Holy Oils will be distributed for use in each parish of the diocese. 

The priests of the diocese renew their commitment to priestly service during this mass as well - a fitting resolve to confirm before celebrating the most sacred days of the Triduum.

Please pray tonight for our bishop and priests of the Diocese of Trenton tonight. Your prayers and support encourage the faithfulness and enthusiasm of our priests.

Spectacular Palmy Weather on Sunday

Thanks to everyone who gathered at Chapel Beach Club and Seabright Beach Club parking lots for the blessing of the palm and our Annual Palm Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson for the 10:30 AM Mass.

The wind blew away the last minute cloud cover and the skies were blue. For the first time in many years, the servers and priest didn't really need coats under their albs. 

Our children's choir led us in singing "All Glory Laud and Honor" during the 15 minute procession to our gymatorium.

Thank you to Chapel and Seabright Beach Clubs and the Rumson and Sea Bright police departments for helping us and the Borough of Sea Bright for permission to gather for the procession. 

Prayerful, public expression of faith are more important than ever. The joyful witness of parishioners of all ages is a welcome sign at the beginning of each Holy Week.

Our Altar Servers Prepare to Lead the Way. (Their candles stayed lit for the entire procession!)
Parishioners Began Gathering At 10:00 AM


Fr. Manning leads the Prayer of Blessing


Palms Held High for the Blessing and We Are Off!


Crossing the Bridge is Always Exciting!


Our Group Arrives in Rumson


Just In Time for Mass.

More Photos of Palm Sunday Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson

Palm Sunday Procession
Stunning View of our Pilgrims from "Mount Sandy"

Don Carolina our Music Director Gathers the Choir to Begin the Procession

A Trio of Altar Servers Leads the Way

Don Carolina and the Choir Make Their Way Through Sandy Streets

Processions Nears the Bridge

Procession Nears Mass at Holy Cross

Truly a Blessed Day

Palm Sunday Procession through the lens of Sue Symington. More great photos!

Holy Oils Distributed by Bishop at Chrism Mass in Trenton

Oil of the Sick, Oil of Catechumens, Sacred Chrism
Bishop David O'Connell presided at the Chrism Mass on Monday evening at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton with concelebrating priests, deacons and parish representatives from the entire diocese. The three holy oils were blessed and every parish given an aliquot of each. The inclement weather could not dampen Bishop O'Connell's spirit and sincerity but the cathedral was not filled to capacity as usual.

Diocesan priests renew their promise of priestly committment at the Chrism mass each year.

Holy Cross Parish will officially receive the oils at the beginning of the Triduum, the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday evening.


Hosanna Palm Sunday

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Parishioners Gather at Sea Bright for Palm Procession

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Father Gets the Bright Idea to Try and Climb "Mount Sandy"
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Not Only Safe Uptop, But Beautiful. It doesn't get any better than this!

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Proclamation of the Gospel and Blessing of the Palms
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Parishioners Head for Rumson Led by Children's Choir
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Heading to the Bridge Via Ocean Avenue
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Safely in Rumson
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We All Catch our Breath Before Processing Into Mass

Thank you to the Sea Bright and Rumson Police Department for keeping our procession safe, to the Children's Choir and their parents for braving the wind and temperature, to Don Carolina for his expert Musical Direction and to our parishioners and parish staff who facilitated the procession. Paul LaPlante took most of these great photos. God provided the beautiful sky!
Please join us for the liturgies of Holy Week, especially the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday evening, Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday night.

Chrism Mass in Trenton

Last evening Bishop O'Connell celebrated mass with the priests of the Diocese and a full cathedral of the faithful in what has been called the Chrism Mass due to the mixing and blessing of the Sacred Chrism which is done during Holy Week.

All three of the Holy Oils are blessed: The Oil of the Catechumens: used to anoint those approaching Baptism; The Oil of the Sick: the oil used in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick; The Sacred Chrism: the oil used to anoint during the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Ordination to the Priesthood, and for consecrating churches and new altars. After the mass, a portion of each of these three oils were distributed to the priests and their parish representatives for taking home to their parishes for use during the coming year. 

Our oils will be officially received at the beginning of the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. Parishioners will process in with the oils, they will be presented to the congregation, placed in the ambry and incensed. The public reception of the Holy Oils by each community reminds us of our unity in Christ with our diocesan bishop and the church of the Diocese of Trenton and is a tangible connection with the working of Christ and the Holy Spirit in our midst.

Vessels containing the Holy Oils are often labeled with the Latin initials of their contents. OC (Oleum Catechumenorum); OI (Oleum Infirmorum); SC (Sanctum Chrisma). In the past, smaller amounts of the three sacred oils were often kept under lock and key in a small vault which can often be seen in one of the walls of the Sanctuary. In recent years, it has become the custom to display the oils in an ambry, which is often located in a prominent spot in the church, sometimes near the baptismal font. Our oils are kept in an ambry near the votive candles on the Blessed Mother's shrine.

Palm Procession at Holy Cross from Sea Bright to Rumson 2012

Thank you to all the parishioners who participated in our Palm Sunday Procession from Sea Bright to Rumson. The rain held off; the only sprinkle was the holy water!

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Parishioners gather in Sea Bright for blessing and processing the palms.









The Palm Procession through the streets and across the Shrewsbury River

The procession arrives at Holy Cross to begin the 10:30 AM mass

Holy Thursday Foot Washing Poll

The results of the Holy Thursday foot washing poll are interesting. In retrospect, I wish I had included questions about whether or not respondents have had their feet washed, or whether they attend the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. There is always a balance between making the surveys quick to take and informative at the same time.

Somewhat suprisingly, the foot washing is not looked upon with universal appeal, despite the fact that it has been restored to the liturgy in one form or other since the 1950's. Those who are charged with recruiting volunteers to have their feet washed may have expected as much, since it seems a difficult privilege for people to accept in some parishes.

A majority were neutral or opposed to the foot washing. Anyone who answered that the washing sould be eliminated would also refuse to be washed, while those who advocate it should be retained answered they would agree to be washed.

I doubt we would ever eliminate it since there is a tradition at Holy Cross, at least in recent years to include this option. However, exhaustive efforts to recruit twelve persons might be missplaced.

Liturgical experts generally agree that substituting other "washings" is wrong-spirited and a majority of our respondents agree. While it's true that we generally wash our hands before meals, and foot washing isn't part of our contemporary practice, neither is hand washing generally performed for us by a servant, so the substitution falls a bit flat. (Let's not even think of Purell!)

The liturgy committee won't take up the matter for another year, so there is plenty of time for prayerful reflection on the matter.

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Holy Week 2011 Holy Cross Church, Rumson NJ

Last evening's diocesan celebration of the Chrism mass at St. Mary's Cathedral in Trenton with Bishop O'Connell was a spirit-filled beginning to the grace-filled period of Holy Week. Many priests of the diocese gathered along with the bishop to bless the sacred oils that will be used in sacramental anointings at all the parishes in the diocese during the coming year. Our own RCIA team was selected to bear the Oil of the Catechumens to the sanctuary for blessing. It is tradition for the priests to renew their promises of priestly commitment at the Chrism mass each year. The presence of so many faithful from parishes all over the dioceses made the occasional even more poignant.

Bishop O'Connell preached to the largest number of priests in recent years and exhorted them to be bearers of the Truth to a world which sometimes doesn't want to hear it. While noting the tragedy of those priests who have wounded the church, he celebrated the goodness of the priesthood and of faithful priests, emphasizing their sacramental roles in persona Christi throughout the diocese.


This Wednesday, there will be mass at 9 AM as usual, followed by Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament all day until Evening prayer and Benediction at 5 PM.  Traditional Latin Mass will be prayed at noon as usual. Confessions will be heard in the church from 6 PM to 7 PM.

There will be no Faith Seeking Understanding meeting this Wednesday, but sessions will resume sometime after Easter with a bible study on the Book of Revelation. More details to follow.


Chrism Mass in Trenton Tonight

Tonight Bishop O'Connell and all the priests of the Diocese of Trenton will bless the sacred oils used in the sacraments of the Anointing of the Sick, Confirmation, Ordination to the Priesthood and Baptism.

Our own RCIA team will have the privilege of bringing up the Oil of the Catechumens to be blessed at the mass.

The Chrism mass is an opportunity for the bishop to address the priests of the diocese and along with them to renew the promises made at priestly ordination.

Please pray for our bishop and our priests.


Palm Procession from Seabright to Rumson Holy Cross Parish

Well, the rain did hold off! Just as we reached the church's parking lot, the sun broke through the clouds and we enjoyed a beautiful, sunny Palm Sunday. The sky in these photos even tell the story!

Thanks to all who braved the initial cold and helped us mark the solemn beginning of Holy Week.

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The earliest arrivals at the public parking lot in Seabright

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The holy water was blowing everywhere!

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The procession speed never reached 30 mph, but the winds might have!

Our intrepid group leaves Seabright for the walk across the bridge.


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It's always exciting to cross the bridge into Rumson on foot.

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Home Sweet Home and Just In Time for the 10:30 AM mass!