Holy Week

Last Sunday marks the start of Holy Week. The failure to commemorate Holy Week had been to our personal detriment. We’re missing out on celebrating the most significant events in the human history, and we’re also missing out on comprehending what those events will mean for our salvation and for all of us. So, if you wish to gather the sense of joy that the followers had when they had understood that Jesus rise from the dead during the first Easter Sunday, and then go with them by the sorrow, pain, darkness, fear, and confusion of that Thursday, Good Friday, and Saturday.

For us to be reminded of the importance of these days, here are the brief explanations of what is celebrated and commemorated on Palm Sunday, on Maundy Thursday, on Good Friday, on Holy Saturday, and on Easter Sunday.

What’s Holy Week?

The Holy Week is one important week for Christians all throughout the world. The Holy Week is the last week of Lent, starts on Palm Sunday and this is the Sunday just before Easter. The Holy Week is the time when the Catholics gathered to remember and to participate in Passion of Jesus Christ. This Passion was the last period of the life of Christ in Jerusalem. It spanned from when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem up to when He had been crucified.

How Are Catholics Celebrating Holy Week?

There are four special ceremonies to commemorate the events about the Passion of Christ from His coming to Jerusalem, when the palm branches were positioned in His path, by His arrest during Holy Thursday and the Crucifixion during Good Friday, up to Holy Saturday, that day that the body of Christ lay at the tomb.

The peak of Liturgical Year is Easter Triduum—from an evening of the Holy Thursday to an evening of the Easter Sunday. Although chronologically in three days they’re liturgically a day unfolding to us the union of Christ Paschal Mystery. A solo Triduum celebration marks the finale of the season of Lent and guides to the Resurrection Mass of our Lord during Easter Vigil.

Liturgical services that will take place during Triduum are:

  • Mass of the Lord Supper
  • Good Friday of the Lord Passion
  • Mass of Resurrection of our Lord

Palm Sunday

TRADITION. Catholics raise their “palaspas” during the blessing after the Palm Sunday Mass at Baclaran Church in Parañaque City on April 2, 2023. It commemorates the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, welcomed by people waving palm branches to symbolize their acceptance of Him as their Savior. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

It recalls Jesus’ coming in Jerusalem. The Palm Sunday is famous as such due to the faithful will taken palm fronds that are use in participating during the reenactment of the arrival of Christ in Jerusalem with the procession. While in the Gospel, Jesus come to Jerusalem riding in a donkey to those townspeople praises who laid small branches or palms, fronting him as the sign of homage. It was the customary practice for those people of great esteem.

Maundy Thursday

It commemorates the final or the Last Supper, when Christ Jesus consecrated wine and bread. During the morning, the bishops normally gather with the priests from their own diocese for Chrism Mass or the day close to the Holy Week that will work best for Archdiocese. This Chrism Mass for Seattle Archdiocese had been celebrated on 11th of April, 2019. They bless the holy oils during their Mass. The feet washing took place during Mass of the Lord Supper at night.

Good Friday

This is one of those darkest days for Catholics. It will cover the arrest, trial, and the crucifixion of Jesus. His death and his burial are memorialized also. The events during Good Friday are remembered during Stations of the Cross, the 14-step devotion, habitually prayed during Lent season and especially during Good Friday. The Living Stations may be prayed during 9:30 in the morning. The Stations of the Cross can then be prayed during 3:00 in the afternoon.

Good Friday is the fasting day within the Church. Normally, there is no celebration and no Mass of the Eucharist during Good Friday. The communion comes from the hosts consecrated during Holy Thursday. The Church bells are not rang or silent and the Altars are left empty. The muted, solemn atmosphere is then preserved until Easter Vigil.

The Holy Saturday

It remembers the day that Jesus spent while at the grave resting. Easter Vigil took place during the end of a day at 8:30 in the evening since the latest liturgical day starts at sunset, and the vigil starts at sunset during Holy Saturday when outside the church, wherein the Easter fire has been kindled and Paschal candle has been blessed and then will be lit. The Paschal candle may be used throughout that Easter season, remaining during the sanctuary of church and all throughout the coming rime at baptisms and at funerals, reminding everybody that Christ will be our light and life.

After the finale of Liturgy of the Word, that water of baptismal font will be solemnly blessed and candidates for total communion or any catechumens are initiated to the church.

What’s the Noticeable Alterations in the Church for the Holy Week?

During Good Friday and also Holy Saturday, noticeable alterations will take place in a manner churches are decorated. There are lots of churches, particularly in Europe, cross and statues are covered in black or purple or simply take out the decor. Holy water has been taken out from the church also and the church bells and Holy Saturday remain silent until Gloria during Easter Vigil.


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