ARCHBISHOP GOMEZ TO LEAD BLESSING OF ANIMALS AND CELEBRATE EASTER VIGIL MASS ON HOLY SATURDAY
Archbishop José H. Gomez will conduct the 89th annual ‘Blessing of Animals’ at historic La Placita Olvera in downtown Los Angeles on Holy Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m. Later that evening, Archbishop Gomez will celebrate the Easter Vigil Mass, 8 p.m., at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 W. Temple St., in downtown Los Angeles.
“The blessing of the animals is a family event, a time of fun and joy,” said Archbishop Gomez. “This blessing also reminds us that Easter brings ‘new creation.’ The Resurrection of Jesus gives new life to everything, and a new beginning to everything in God’s beautiful creation – birds, animals, everything that God has made in his love.”
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS (MAIN STREET) – 2 P.M.
The tradition of blessing animals on Holy Saturday recalls that all creation awaits the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. The Archbishop will bless both animals and “their humans” as they pass before him in procession. Past processions have included cats, pigs, sheep, cows, horses, mules, iguanas, birds, rats, mice, turtles, lizards, snakes, dogs and chameleons.
EASTER VIGIL MASS (CATHEDRAL) – 8 P.M.
The Easter Vigil Mass, which celebrates Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, will begin outside with the blessing of the fire at the Easter Fire Hearth on the Plaza. The vigil consists of a brief candlelight service and a service of the Word. Dating from at least the mid-second century, this is one of the oldest Christian celebrations. The Vigil is a culmination of the entire Church year, an encapsulation of the Paschal Mystery and a rehearsal of salvation history in word and song. Easter Vigil Mass will be livestreamed on http://archla.org/live and facebook.com/CatholicLosAngeles/.
Videos of all Holy Week Masses and services are available at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLdDEeGf6fy5WqQJ-s9IBje6mWDgTbnut. Follow #HolyWeekLA for images and video.
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