Read more


The Most Solemn Week of the Year

Holy Week is the greatest and the most solemn week of the entire year. It's the heart and soul of the liturgical calendar commemorating the unfathomable saving act of God through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the core of Christian faith. The Paschal Mystery, the epicenter of Holy Week, brings, binds and unites together the other seasons of the year. Egeria’s diary was profoundly instrumental in the evolution of what is now called, Holy Week. For her, it’s the Great Week. In her pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she saw and witnessed first- hand  the paschal observance of the early Christians as documented in her diary. To state the obvious, Holy Week had an extensive and complex history, gradually tied together down the centuries. It didn’t come out of thin air. Christians interpreted the passion of the Christ with the sacrifice of the lamb and passage from death to life. As it developed, the Paschal Triduum began with the evening mass of the Lord’s Supper reaching its highest point in the Easter Vigil and ended on Easter Sunday evening. For the first Christians, it wasn’t just an event that occurred in the past but the gathering was a remembrance of an enduring, life-altering mystery that had been kept alive ever since.  


Interestingly, Holy Week is marked by procession. In fact, Lenten practices always lead us to Jerusalem, the Holy City, the city of Peace, the place God chose to dwell. Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, commemorates Jesus triumphal entry to Jerusalem. We enter Holy Week in procession along with Jesus with the blessing of the palm and leaflet branches and the proclamation of the passion account outside the church. Then, we join in procession holding palm branches cheering for Jesus’ victorious entry. We won’t settle with the simple entrance. If you take procession in the pre-mass ritual, you lose half of the meaning. The presider vested with red cope is preceded in procession by the altar servers.


Paschal Triduum is an amalgamation of the passion and resurrection of Christ beginning with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and culminating on the evening of Easter Vigil. It’s one whole celebration. Holy Thursday stresses the institution of the Eucharist, the washing of the feet (Mandatum) and the procession to the altar of repose. There’s no final blessing. Good Friday service is not a Mass but well-participated especially at the stations of the cross. The service is composed of the Proclamation of the Cross, the adoration of the cross and communion. All depart in silence. Again, there’s no final blessing. Saturday morning is normally spent in praying for the faithful departed and descending into hell while parish ministers are busy with decorations. Easter Vigil is the vigil of all vigils and the night of all nights. We’ll go the whole nine yards with the readings as they beautifully illustrate salvation history proclaimed only once a year. Amen. 


Below is the Catholic Community's complete Holy Week Schedule of Services.  



There are no comments for this post.

Add a comment

Will not be shared.
Add Comment