Holy Week and Easter at Pluscarden Abbey


20 March 2016: Palm Sunday.
The Conventual Mass is sung in Latin at 10.00 as usual. It begins with the Blessing and Procession of Palm Branches. The Gospel of this Mass is the Passion according to St. Luke, read by three Priests in English. Mass on Palm Sunday at Pluscarden normally lasts a little under two full hours.

24 March 2016: Maundy Thursday.
Mass of the Lord's Supper is sung in Latin at 7.00 p.m. It includes the "mandatum" or washing of feet by Fr. Abbot. At the end of Mass the Blessed Sacrament is solemnly transferred to the Altar of repose in the Lady Chapel, and the Principal Altar is stripped. The community then sings Compline. After that, there is an opportunity for a vigil of watching in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament until midnight.

5 March 2016: Good Friday.
The Good Friday Liturgy begins at 3.00 p.m. The Passion Gospel according to St. John is sung in Latin: leaflets with translations are provided for all. The Intercessions are sung in English; all other Chants in Latin. The wooden Cross is shown and venerated, the Reproaches sung, and Holy Communion is given. The Good Friday liturgy at Pluscarden normally lasts somewhat under two full hours.
At Compline on Good Friday (7.45) the Relic of the True Cross is venerated.

26 March 2016: Holy Saturday.
The Paschal Vigil at Pluscarden begins at 11.00 p.m., with the ceremony of the Holy Fire outside the Church, and the lighting of the Paschal Candle.
The Exsultet, or Easter Proclamation, is then sung by candlelight in Latin.
At Pluscarden all the readings of the Vigil, without any omission, are read, interspersed by the singing in Latin of the ancient Tracts.
Bells are rung for the singing of the Gloria; and after the reading from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, the Alleluia is solemnly intoned, on successive rising notes.
In the absence of a baptism, Holy Water is blessed for the renewal of Baptismal promises by all, and Mass then continues as normal.
The Paschal Vigil is the most solemn and important liturgy of the whole year. At Pluscarden it normally ends at around 0145. All are very welcome to attend.

27 March 2016: Easter Day.
The Conventual Mass for Easter Day is sung in Latin at 10.00 as usual. Weather permitting, it begins with an outdoor procession. It normally lasts around one and a half hours.


A Priest is normally available for confession before each of these principal liturgies. But confession can always be asked for by anyone at any time. Please press the front door bell of the monastery, and simply ask for confession.