SCRANTON – Holy Week began in parishes across the Diocese of Scranton on March 24 with Palm Sunday Masses.

At the Cathedral of Saint Peter, the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, began the 12:15 p.m. liturgy in the Cathedral Prayer Garden, where he blessed the palms and led the faithful on a procession down Wyoming Avenue.

After blessing palms in the Cathedral Prayer Garden, Bishop Bambera leads a procession down Wyoming Avenue in Scranton at the beginning of Palm Sunday Mass on March 24, 2024. (Photos/Mike Melisky)

The Bishop began his homily by noting the tension between the “sense of celebration” as the faithful echo the hosannas shouted by the people of Jerusalem as Jesus enters the city and the account of Jesus’ passion and death in the Gospel.

“This tension that permeates today’s liturgy reflects so much of what we experience in life, doesn’t it? We seek peace and harmony in our lives and in our families. Yet, we so often stoke fires of division and alienation,” Bishop Bambera said. “We struggle to do the good, while yielding to self-consumed needs and desires. Most pointedly on this day, we are reminded by the Word of God that the faith we profess with our lips does not always reflect what we profess by our lives.”

Bishop Bambera stressed that by coming into the world, Jesus gave us a way forward.

“The radical humility that Jesus showed in eschewing self-glorification, assuming the role of a selfless servant and embracing His Father’s will, even to the cross, is what we are called to make as our own,” he said. “It is only through our imitation of Jesus’ pattern of living that we will ever discover the means to face the challenges of life with hope and be given a taste of God’s enduring peace.”

As Holy Week began, the Bishop stressed our faith calls us to affirm that God delivers us from the darkness of sin and the “brokenness of our world.”

“Make no mistake; our experience of this Holy Week will not take away the harsh realities of life that we face each day. But our authentic embrace of the example of Jesus’ life and our willingness to care for the lives that God has given to us – even as we bear the crosses laid upon our shoulders – do have the power to open our lives to the mystery of God’s saving grace.”

Bishop Bambera will celebrate the Paschal Triduum at the Cathedral of Saint Peter at these times:


Holy Thursday marks the day on which Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist and the priestly Order and gave us the commandment concerning fraternal charity.
The Pontifical Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which will include the Rite of the Washing of Feet, will begin at 5:30 p.m., with Bishop Bambera serving as the principal celebrant. Following this Mass there will be the transfer of the Most Blessed Sacrament to the place of repose. Adoration will continue until 9:00 p.m. Night Prayer will be celebrated at 9:00 p.m. and broadcast via livestream.


The Commemoration of the Passion and Death of the Lord celebrated by Bishop Bambera will begin at 12:10 p.m. In addition, the Stations of the Cross will be prayed at 5:00 p.m. Good Friday is a day of fast and abstinence.


Bishop Bambera will be the principal celebrant and homilist of the Easter Vigil Mass at the Cathedral beginning at 8:00 p.m.


Easter Sunday of the Resurrection of the Lord is the most joyous day in the Church year. On Easter Day, Bishop Bambera will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral.

Additional Masses at the Cathedral during the day will be at 6:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.