What is Holy Week?
It is the most solemn week of the Christian year and leads up to Easter. It is the week during which Christians remember Jesus’s passion.
Palm Sunday commemorates Christ’s triumphant arrival in Jerusalem to the cheers of the crow. Later in that week many of the people in that cheering crowd would be among those shouting that that Jesus should be executed.
Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist or Communion. Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane. The word “maundy” comes from the command (mandate) given by Christ at the Last Supper, that we should love one another.
Good Friday is a day of mourning in church. During Good Friday services, Christians meditate on Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross and what this means for our faith.
Holy Saturday is a day that the Christian church ponders what it must have been like in a world without Jesus. The Great Vigil of Easter began as a remembrance of this time, where Christians read scripture and prayed as they awaited the darkest night of the world to give way to the resurrection light of the morning. This service was originally overnight, but has been adapted to Saturday evening. We remember God’s saving love for us, recall the covenant of our baptisms, and share in a joyous feast of Holy Communion with the Risen Christ.
Easter Sunday is the culmination of Holy Week. Easter commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy.