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Manteca services marking Holy Week

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POSTED April 16, 2014 12:37 a.m.

The Last Supper on Holy Thursday, living Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday are some of the highlights of Holy Week at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Manteca. The same services, during the Easter Triduum that concludes Lent leading up to the joy of the Easter season, are repeated all throughout the world.

Holy Thursday services will be a bilingual liturgy starting at 7 p.m. It marks the celebration of the Last Supper shared by Jesus with his disciples, and when he washed the feet of his disciples. This act of humility and service is part of the Holy Thursday Mass, when church pastor, Father Patrick Walker, assisted by the other priests, Father Dante Dammay and Father Camilo Garcia, wash the feet of 12 parishioners.

The Triduum moves on to Good Friday with several services scheduled. At noon, the seventh and eighth graders of St. Anthony of Padua School will stage their annual Living Stations of the Cross, a solemn dramatization of the events starting with Jesus being condemned to death and moving on to his climb to Calvary while carrying the cross, culminating with his nailing and death on the cross. Meditative moments accompany each dramatized scene.

Immediately following the students’ Living Stations is the solemn Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord. This service begins with the priest, who is the lead presider, carrying a stark cross up the church’s center aisle which he then places at the steps in front of the altar. He and the other priests then prostrate themselves in front of the altar in reverence for a few minutes before moving on to the next part of the service. Members of the faithful are then invited to come forward and kiss the cross. The highlight of the Good Friday service is the reading of the Passion of the Lord.

The Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord in Spanish will be held at 7 o’clock in the evening.

The Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday will be a bilingual service starting with the blessing of the new fire at 8 p.m. During this liturgical celebration which marks the most significant events of Holy Week, there will be baptism, confirmation, and Holy Eucharist or communion for the elect or new members of the church.

Regular Sunday services will return on Easter Sunday, April 20, with Mass held at 7, 8:45 and 10:45 a.m. in English, and at 12:30 p.m. in Spanish, and 6 o’clock in the evening.

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