Holy Week and Easter
Palm or Passion Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most sacred days of the Church year. On Palm Sunday we receive palm branches, wave them as they are blessed, as we commemorate the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The Gospel story, which is proclaimed in many voices, tells the story of Jesus’ passion and death. We will hear this story again on Good Friday.
We have a tradition at our school on Wednesday of Holy Week. Our sixth graders proclaim a Passion Play, a prayer that is offered in song and through acting. The whole school comes together for this moving prayer.
On Holy Thursday, we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist by Christ at the Last Supper, a Passover mean he celebrated with the disciples. He also teaches them – and us – how to serve one another by washing the feet of the disciples.
Good Friday, is a sad day that we remember Jesus death on the cross. It is the day that in Churches around the world, we venerate the Holy Cross, ultimately the instrument of our salvation.
On Holy Saturday night, the Easter Vigil takes place. The liturgy takes us through salvation history from the creation story in the book of Genesis, the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt, the Prophets, the letters of St. Paul, to the resurrection of Jesus. It is also the mass when new members of the Catholic faith are welcomed through the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a magnificent celebration that everyone should experience.
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. It marks the triumph of good over evil; everlasting life over death. It is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar. It is so important, that we don’t just celebrate Easter on one Sunday, we celebrate the “Great Fifty Days of Easter.”
The readings during the Easter Season take us through Christ’s first encounters with the disciples, His Ascension, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost, the birthday of the Church. The Easter Season is a time to rejoice and reflect on these gifts, and how we can live as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ in our world.
Happy Easter to you, and to all those whom you love!