Holy Week offers occasion to understand gift of salvation, says pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The rituals of Holy Week and Easter offer Catholics an opportunity to understand the “priceless gift of salvation obtained by Christ’s sacrifice” on the cross, Pope Benedict XVI said. The Easter triduum, which represents the heart of the whole liturgical year, is a time for the faithful to immerse themselves in the central events of redemption, to relive the paschal mystery and to meditate “more vividly on the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord,” he said.

At his general audience April 8 in St. Peter’s Square, the pope explained the meaning of the liturgies the church was to celebrate in the coming days.

Priests renew their promises to their bishop during the Holy Thursday morning chrism Mass. It is an important gesture because priests are also reaffirming their fidelity in Christ who chose them as his ministers, he said. The pope said the ritual would have added meaning this year as the church prepares for the year for priests that will begin June 19.

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