What is Holy Week? (A brief overview)

What is Holy Week?
A brief overview by Fr. Shawn

Holy week is one of the most sacred weeks of the Christian life. It is a pilgrimage of faith coming out of the wilderness of Lent and reliving the mystery of Christ's passion. We call it a "mystery" to emphasize our limited ability to grasp just how great this work of God through Christ really is, and we call it Christ's "passion" to refer to the whole of his life, suffering, and death. 

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week, in which we celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus with the "procession of Palms" (just like the prophecy said) into Jerusalem to assume his kingly role seated on the throne (Luke 19:29-40). 

The Triduum or “Three Days” 
Maundy Thursday celebrates the night that Jesus commanded (or "maundy" meaning mandated) the celebration of Holy Eucharist. In John's Gospel, we also know Jesus washed his disciple's feet as an example for them, which we also observe in this service. The altar is then stripped of all linens and decoration and all leave in silence.

Good Friday relives the events leading up to the crucifixion of Christ (John 18, 19). We process the cross, hear the passion readings interactively, chant parts of the service together, and venerate the holy cross. 

Holy Saturday observes the vigil that was kept by the disciples while Christ was in the grave. There is an open-house style time of prayer full of prayer stations, a labyrinth, and other ways to "keep the watch" while we await the dawning of a new day. 

Easter Sunday is the biggest celebration of the year, and the culmination of our Lenten fasting. We rejoice in Christ being raised from the dead, trampling over sin and death, and triumphing over the grave. At this service, we celebrate baptisms, ring bells, and throw a huge party!

If this is your first time with us, this journey will blow your mind and transform your heart. I invite you to make a priority of getting to every service in Holy Week so that you can see the full story of God's love through Jesus for you.