Saint Benedict’s Parish

521 McCosh Drive
Chesapeake, Virginia 23320
757.543.0561 (Office)
757.543.3510 (Fax)
St. Benedict's Parish in Chesapeake, Virginia, is home of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (Latin) Mass in Hampton Roads, offering Daily Confession, Daily Mass and sacraments according to the Liturgical Books of 1962. Established under the auspices of the Diocese of Richmond, St. Benedict's Parish is staffed by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP).

Weekly Activities

Choir Practice - Thursdays 7PM - 9PM
St. Anne’s Sodality - Meets on 1st Tuesday at 6PM. All ladies 18 years and older are welcome.
St. Anne’s Sewing Guild - Meets the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10AM - 3PM
St. Joseph’s Mens Guild - Meets on 1st Tuesday at 7PM. All gentlemen over 18 are welcome
St. Michael’s Youth Group - Meets Wednesday evenings 6PM - 8PM
Little Flowers - Meets 1st and 3rd Saturdays, 10AM - 11:30AM. Girls ages 4 to 12 are welcome
Knights of the Altar - Altar boy practice is on the 1st Saturday of the month from 10AM - 12PM
Legion of Mary - Meets Tuesdays at 7PM

All Masses and Sacraments are offered in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

Catholics Welcome Home!

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Holy Week Schedule

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Office Hours
Tuesday: 8AM - 12PM
Wednesday-Thursday: 8AM - 1PM
Friday: 8AM - 12:15PM

Mass Time Changes

Saturday, March 24th is St. Benedict’s
Spring Clean-Up Church Work Day.

Therefore, Mass times are: 6:30AM & 7:30AM
NO 9AM Mass

Monday, Mar., 19th Feast of St. Joseph
& Wednesday, Mar., 21st *  Feast of St. Benedict 8AM & 7PM
*Wednesday, Lenten Soup Supper canceled

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    Some parishes observe the ancient Lenten practice of draping images of Christ in purple, the liturgical color of penitence. Images of the Blessed Mother and other saints are also covered, because it would not be fitting to display them while Our Lord is concealed.

    The Roman Missal states “The practice of covering crosses and images in the church may be observed if the Episcopal Conference so decides. The crosses are to be covered until the end of the celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday. Images are to remain covered until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.”  
    – Paschalis Sollemnitatis 26.

    Some churches drape images from the first vespers or the vigil Mass of the fifth Sunday of Lent. Others leave them uncovered until after the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday, and some parishes remove images altogether. Stations of the cross and stained-glass windows always remain uncovered.

    Customs regarding the covering of images have varied with time and place. According to some sources, the practice began in ninth-century Germany, where a cloth concealed the altar from the congregation until Wednesday in Holy Week. Covering images through all of Lent persisted through the Middle Ages, but more recent custom limits draping to the period formerly known as Passiontide.

    Under the old liturgical calendar, still in use at parishes with the Tridentine Mass, veiling begins on the fifth Sunday in Lent, called Passion Sunday or Judica Sunday. From this day through Holy Week, the Gospel readings illustrate the growing tension between Jesus and the authorities. In the Gospel for Passion Sunday, we hear that Christ hides himself when His enemies try to stone Him after He declares Himself the Son of God (John 8:59). The covered images present a visual cue that brings the Gospel story into sharp focus.

    The custom of veiling holy objects is rich in meaning. In the Old Covenant, a veil hung between the outer precincts of the Temple and the Holy of Holies, where only a priest could enter. Scripture tells us that at Christ’s death on the cross, the veil was split from top to bottom as an earthquake rocked the ground (Mt. 27:51-54).  This event signified that the barrier between mankind and God, caused by original sin, had now been pierced. Because of Christ’s saving death, St. Paul says, we can now draw near to the throne of grace (Heb. 4:16). In a symbolic manner, covering images temporarily replaces the veil that once kept man apart from what is holy. The custom reminds us that without Christ’s passion and death, the separation would stand, and we would remain dead in our sins.

    Lent reaches its peak intensity during its final weeks. By fasting, prayer, and sacrifice, we will by now have cultivated a keen and painful awareness of our sins and a deep desire to be reconciled with Christ. Why, then, is His image concealed at a time when we most long to see His face?

    Images, music, and spoken words are means the Church uses to communicate the Gospel message through our senses. Depriving us of one such means—visual imagery—concentrates our attention on the others. Like the stripping of altars on Holy Thursday, the covering of images leads us to contemplate the spoken Word of God, especially the reading of the Passion.

    Cloaking holy images is a Lenten sacrifice. It is closely related to the Eucharistic fast, where we refrain from what gives us enjoyment (food) to prepare for a greater joy (union with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament). With our senses deprived of the sight of Christ and His saints, we long for Easter, when the shrouds will be removed just as Jesus cast aside the grave cloths as He rose (John 20:4-7).

St. Benedict’s Parish

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521 McCosh Drive, Chesapeake, Virginia 23320 | 757.543.0561 (Office) | 757.543.3510 (Fax) | frdam