The Liturgical Year

Easter Triduum

The following resources formed part of the formation days on the Triduum. Parishes may find them helpful in planning their Easter ceremonies.

  • Fr Andrew Doohan's keynote address at the Triduum formation days, A Hitchhikers Guide to the Sacred Paschal Triduum.
  • Some key liturgical documents about the Paschal Triduum
  • A short articleCelebrating the Paschal Triduum: 'rehearsal' for paschal living, from the Good Samaritan Sisters' e-magazine.
  • People's Booklet for the Paschal Triduum (template). This is supplied by Newcastle Parish. It may help parishes prepare their People's Booklet.
  • A Practice Note: Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday has been prepared to outline the recent change to the norms regarding this ritual.
  • A template for parishes looking for a ritual to receive the oils sent to them by Bishop Bill from the Chrism Mass is available as a pdf or word document.

Chrism Mass

In the Church of Maitland-Newcastle the Chrism Mass is celebrated annually on the Tuesday evening of Holy Week, 7.00pm in the Sacred Heart Cathedral. It is an amazing liturgy. People gather from all over the diocese. They come by bus and car and by 6.30pm the cathedral and its precinct are full of people, all catching up and preparing to be part of this most significant celebration of our faith.


This gathering of the whole Church at the Cathedral with Bishop Bill Wright is an important part of our preparation for the Easter Ceremonies which will take place throughout the diocese.


At the Chrism Mass, our Bishop Bill, blesses the holy oils which will be used for ministry throughout the coming year. The oil of catechumens and the oil of the sick are blessed. The oil of chrism is consecrated. The first is used for anointing adult catechumens and infants, the second for anointing the sick, and the sacred oil of chrism for baptism, confirmation, the ordination of priests, and the consecration of altars. The tradition of blessing the oils goes back to the early church. Only the bishop can consecrate chrism.


Celebrated with Bishop Bill and most of the clergy and representatives from all parishes, the Chrism Mass is a great celebration of our unity as the Church of Maitland-Newcastle. This unity is marked in a special way when, after the readings and homily, everyone participates in a renewal of their commitment to ministry which we share, though in different ways.


This renewal begins with the Assembly – all God's priestly, prophetic and kingly people – who recommit to the work of spreading God's word in their families, communities and workplaces. Then the deacons restate their commitment to the loving and humble service called for by the gospel. This is followed by the priests' renewal of their priestly promises to unite themselves with Christ and to steward the mysteries of God. Finally, Bishop Bill renews his commitment to becoming a more faithful image of Christ the Good Shepherd. Through the process of this renewal, the people offer their prayer and support to their deacons, priests and bishop. Our unity characterised by difference is acted out in this ritual of renewal.


A simple resource for prayer and reflection on the texts for the blessing of the holy oils is available here. It can help you prepare to participate in the Chrism Mass, or reflect on your experience after. It can be used personally or in groups.


A template for parishes looking for a ritual to receive the oils sent to them by Bishop Bill from the Chrism Mass is available as a pdf or word document.


Click here to view the photos from last year's Chrism Mass. If you have not been to a Chrism Mass why not come along this year?



Many resources are available to support communities in their prayer and reflection during Lent. The following may be of assistance:

  • Brisbane Archdiocese's 2017 Lenten Program 'Up from the Waters' is a comprehensive resource, available for online purchase in book and DVD/CD format.
  • Diocese of Broken Bay's 'Lectio Divina' program is available as a free download for printing or as online weekly reflections.
  • Diocese of Wollongong's Lenten Program 2017 entitled 'Hope' is available as CD, digital download and pdf book/CD set from their online shop.
  • Archdiocese of Melbourne's Lenten program for 2017 'Opening our hearts & minds' is available as a free download. The PDF program and accompanying, weekly music video clips are available on their website.
  • CLRI (NSW) offers useful resources including the 'Lenten Carbon Fast Calendar'. Themes such as ecology, peace and nonviolence help to make the 2017 season of Lent meaningful. Available for download from their website.
  • Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has produced a 2017 Lenten Reflection Guide 'A Journey with Gospel Non Violence'. Available as a free download in PDF format.
  • Columban Mission Society has online Lenten reflections entitled 'The Grace of Earth' available as PDF download. Additionally, their Centre for Peace, Ecology and Justice has produced a 'Stations of the Forest' booklet (and video). Following the format of The Stations of the Cross, it laments the stages in the death of part of God's Creation, incorporating issues related to rainforest destruction.
  • The Australian Redemptorist site offers two contemporary renderings of the 'Way of the Cross' by Fr Anthony Kelly CSsR and Fr Kevin O'Shea CSsR. Rather than lead people to dwell on the physical suffering they encourage entry to the love and openness of Jesus' life. Both versions can be downloaded from the Redemptorist website
  • GPBS focuses on young people in their Complete 2017 Lenten Package for Catholic Parishes which is available for purchase and includes handouts, music, slide show, video clips and more, available on USB. Also, their 2017 Lent Event of high energy, live music and multi-media can be booked for schools.
  • Emmaus Productions' 'Lent and Holy Week Online Videos' are now available. Sample videos of Lent Week 1 and Lent Week 3 are available for viewing. Subscription to these and other videos is available via their sister website.
  • Jesuit Communications, publisher of Madonna magazine and its online partner has released a personal journey for people interested in exploring a deeper relationship with Jesus during Lent. Click here for free daily reflections.


The Diocesan Liturgy Council has been approached by some parish communities seeking advice about what to do when weekday Mass is not possible. The Liturgy Council has considered this issue and produced a Practice Note: Liturgical Celebrations on Weekdays which aims to assist parishes to respond to this pastoral situation in the best way possible. The Practice Note is recommended to Parish Leadership Teams and Liturgy Teams for their consideration and discussion. It also has relevance to Catholic School communities. Other resources on this website will assist parishes and schools in their response: Information about the Prayer of the Church and templates for Morning and Evening Prayer and a Week Day Liturgy of the Word template. (Under the heading Liturgy Preparation)


The Australian Catholic Bishops website has resources for ANZAC Day. The tabs at the top of the site include access to the music for Mass for the Fallen, We Shall Remember Them by Christopher Willcock SJ and other resources.


Solemnity of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the Patron of the Church of Maitland-Newcastle. The Mass and Liturgy texts found here are provided for parishes and schools to use to celebrate our patronal feast. If you would like a copy of the texts as a word document please email


St Mary of the Cross MacKillop

In Australia Mary MacKillop is celebrated as a Solemnity. The texts for Mass and Prayer of the Church are found here.


While these texts do not include texts for a Vigil Mass or for Evening Prayer I, communities could begin the celebration with either, given the explanation of Solemnities in the General Norms for the Liturgical year and the Calendar a. 11 'Solemnities are counted as the principal days in the calendar and their observance begins with evening prayer I of the preceding day. Some also have their own vigil Mass for use when Mass is celebrated in the evening of the preceding day.'


Additional resources for the Prayer of the Church can be found here.


This article may assist those preparing the community's liturgical celebration.


The Sisters of St Joseph have also prepared a 9 day online retreat in preparation for the celebration.


World Day of Prayer for Creation

Pope Francis has announced that September 1 2015 will be the first annual 'World day of Prayer'.

The Columban Mission Institute has created a four week liturgical resource for September entitled A Catholic season of Creation. While this is primarily a school resource, it is grounded in the Sunday liturgy for each week in the lead up to the celebration of the Feast of St Francis of Assisi on October 4.