Office for Consecrated Life

So it is that in accordance with the Divine Plan a wonderful variety of religious communities has grown up which has made it easier for the church … to be equipped for every good work and ready for the work of the ministry—the building up of the Body of Christ.
Second Vatican Council, Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life Perfectae Caritatis, no. 1

Holy Week

Image result for palm sunday 2020


The celebration of these most holy days of the church year require a pastoral attentiveness
so that the saving events commemorated are carried out with faith and devotion and the
faithful have access to them in whatever way is possible. All possible electronic and
spiritual resources are to be made available to the faithful to enter into these days which
celebrate the greatest mysteries of our redemption. The following directives derive from
the recent instructions from the Holy See and the USCCB for the celebration of the Triduum.

In general:
 There will be no public celebrations of Palm Sunday and of the Sacred Paschal
 All celebrations will take place in parish churches. It is not necessary for every
parish to celebrate the liturgies of the Sacred Paschal Triduum. Pastors of smaller
parishes may combine for these liturgies.
o The Sacred Paschal Triduum may also be celebrated in seminaries,
monasteries and convents.
 The manner for the celebration of these liturgies is to follow what is described in
the Roman Missal with the exception for what is listed below.
 Sufficient sacred and liturgical ministers, if possible, are to assist for the dignified
celebration of these liturgies. It is not necessary to have the usual full complement
of ministers. The limitation of numbers and social distancing, as reasonably as
possible, are to be observed.
 Liturgical music, if possible, should be in place for the celebration of these
liturgies, perhaps with only a cantor and accompanist or cantor alone.
 Palm Sunday Mass is not to be celebrated publicly.
 The Second or Third Form in the Roman Missal is to be used for the Entrance. The
First Form, the Procession is not to be used due to civil restrictions.

o Palm is to be blessed and available for distribution at a later time
determined locally. Palms should not be left for public distribution or pickup due to handling precautions. It may be necessary to refrigerate or keep the palm cool until future distribution to prevent mold and rot.
o Although Palm Sunday Mass will not be celebrated publicly, the palm
distributed to the faithful on this day has great meaning. It is a sacramental
rich in power to remind all of us of Christ’s victory over sin and death. It
certainly has special significance during the pandemic.
o Pastors are reminded not to cancel their palm order.


 The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is not to be celebrated publicly.
o Priests have the permission of the Holy See to celebrate Mass without a
congregation as an exception to the law this year. Otherwise they pray the
Vespers of day.
 The washing of feet, which is always optional, is to be omitted in all instances.
 The procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose at the end of Mass
is to be omitted. The Blessed Sacrament is returned to the tabernacle. The altar is
stripped at a convenient time.
o On Holy Thursday, Holy Communion may only be distributed to the faithful
during Mass but it may be brought to the sick at any hour of the day.

 The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord is not to be celebrated publicly.
The following is to be added as the 11th Solemn Intercession as suggested by the
USCCB with the permission of Archbishop Perez:

XI. For an end to the pandemic
Let us pray, dearly beloved, for a swift end to the coronavirus pandemic that afflicts
our world, that our God and Father will heal the sick, strengthen those who care for
them, and help us all to persevere in faith.
Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:
Almighty and merciful God, source of all life, health and healing, look with
compassion on our world, brought low by disease; protect us in the midst of the
grave challenges that assail us and in your fatherly providence grant recovery to
the stricken, strength to those who care for them, and success to those working to
eradicate this scourge. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

 The veneration of the cross, by those assisting at the Celebration of the Passion of
the Lord, should take place with a genuflection or a bow. There is no need to touch
or kiss the cross this year. The altar is stripped at a convenient time.
o On Good Friday, Holy Communion is distributed apart from the Celebration of the
Passion of the Lord only to the sick. On Holy Saturday, Holy Communion is only
given as Viaticum.

 The Easter Vigil is not to be celebrated publicly.
o Those who cannot in anyway participate in the Easter Vigil pray the Office
of Readings for Easter Sunday.
 The Solemn Beginning of the Vigil or Lucernarium—the preparation and lighting
of the fire–is omitted. The Paschal Candle (previously prepared privately) is lit,
the procession is omitted and the Exultet follows.
 The Liturgy of Word takes place as usual according to what is described in the
Roman Missal.
 For the Baptismal Liturgy, only the Renewal of Baptismal Promises is necessary.
o In accord with the directives from the Holy See and the USCCB, the Sacraments of
Christian Initiation are delayed and do not take place at the Easter Vigil this year.
o Easter Water may be blessed, as indicated in the Roman Missal, and made available
to the faithful at a future time.
 The Liturgy of the Eucharist follows as usual.
 Easter Sunday Mass is not to be celebrated publicly.
The Chrism Mass will not be celebrated publicly. Instead, the Archbishop will celebrate
it in a private manner on Monday of Holy Week, April 6, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Cathedral
 Additional information will be forthcoming for the clergy and faithful to
participate via live-streaming.
 The Oils of Catechumens and of the Sick will be blessed and the Oil of Chrism will
be consecrated.
 The new oils will be distributed at a future date. In the meantime for this year,
parishes and institutions are to continue the use of the old oils into Easter Time.

A new way of Fasting: Please read the article below.

It may bring a new perspective to this 2020 Lenten Season!

In Behold the Pierced One (pp.97-98), Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) wrote:

“When Augustine sensed his death approaching, he ‘excommunicated’ himself and undertook public penance. In his last days he manifested his solidarity with the public sinners who seek for pardon and grace through the renunciation of communion. He wanted to meet his Lord in the humility of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for him who is the Righteous and Merciful One. Against the background of his sermons and writings, which are a magnificent portrayal of the mystery of the Church as communion with the Body of Christ, and as the Body of Christ itself, built up by the Eucharist, this is a profoundly arresting gesture. The more I think of it, the more it moves me to reflection. Do we not often take the reception of the Blessed Sacrament too lightly? Might not this kind of spiritual fasting be of service, or even necessary, to deepen and renew our relationship to the Body of Christ?

“The ancient Church had a highly expressive practice of this kind. Since apostolic times, no doubt, the fast from the Eucharist on Good Friday was a part of the Church’s spirituality of communion. This renunciation of communion on one of the most sacred days of the Church’s year was a particularly profound way of sharing in the Lord’s Passion; it was the Bride’s mourning for the lost Bridegroom (cf. Mk 2:20).24 Today too, I think, fasting from the Eucharist, really taken seriously and entered into, could be most meaningful on carefully considered occasions, such as days of penance—and why not reintroduce the practice on Good Friday? It would be particularly appropriate at Masses where there is a vast congregation, making it impossible to provide for a dignified distribution of the sacrament; in such cases the renunciation of the sacrament could in fact express more reverence and love than a reception which does not do justice to the immense significance of what is taking place. A fasting of this kind—and of course it would have to be open to the Church’s guidance and not arbitrary—could lead to a deepening of personal relationship with the Lord in the sacrament. It could also be an act of solidarity with all those who yearn for the sacrament but cannot receive it. It seems to me that the problem of the divorced and remarried, as well as that of intercommunion (e.g., in mixed marriages), would be far less acute against the background of voluntary spiritual fasting, which would visibly express the fact that we all need that ‘healing of love’ which the Lord performed in the ultimate loneliness of the Cross. Naturally, I am not suggesting a return to a kind of Jansenism: fasting presupposes normal eating, both in spiritual and biological life. But from time to time we do need a medicine to stop us from falling into mere routine which lacks all spiritual dimension. Sometimes we need hunger, physical and spiritual hunger, if we are to come fresh to the Lord’s gifts and understand the suffering of our hungering brothers. Both spiritual and physical hunger can be a vehicle of love.” Mark Brumley

Holy Hour for Vocations

To the Priesthood and Religious Life

Sponsored by the Offices of Consecrated Life and for Divine Worship

First Thursday of Each Month (On Hold )

  2-3 p.m. St. Joseph’s Chapel 13th Floor

Archdiocesan Pastoral Center

All are invited 

2:00 p.m.            Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament
                             O Salutaris Hostia (all sing)

                             Quiet prayer 

2:30 p.m.            Scripture Reading

                             Quiet reflection 

2:50 p.m.            Benediction/Reposition
                             Tantum Ergo (all sing)
                             Divine Praises

Events for 2020

Sunday, September 20, 2020

  • Jubilarian Celebration
  • 11:00 a.m. Holy Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul

Saturday, Dec. 12 2020

  • Advent Day of Retreat at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul

Details will follow for each retreat and celebration as we near the dates


Sister Gabrielle Mary Braccio, RSM
Delegate for Consecrated Life
222 North 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1299
10th Floor Room 1029

Phone: 215-587-3795
Fax: 215-587-3790

To assist those who feel called to the consecrated life, the Office for Consecrated Life lists those Congregations who serve in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Please see listing below.

Congregations of Men

Congregations of Women