Holy Week 2019: What do we celebrate?

Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, which may also be known as Passion Sunday in some denominations. Traditionally, Palm Sunday commemorates the Triumphal entry into Jerusalem described in all four canonical gospels. As described in the accounts, Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem was noted by the crowds present who shouted praises and waved palm branches. In the Roman Rite, before 1955 it was known simply as Palm Sunday, and the preceding Sunday as Passion Sunday. From 1955 to 1971 it was called Second Sunday in Passiontide or Palm Sunday. Among Lutherans and Anglicans, the day is known as the Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday.

In many liturgical denominations, to commemorate the Messiah’s entry into Jerusalem to accomplish his paschal mystery, it is customary to have a blessing of palm leaves (or other branches, for example olive branches). The blessing ceremony includes the reading of a Gospel account of how Jesus rode into Jerusalem humbly on a donkey, reminiscent of a Davidic victory procession, and how people placed palms and other branches on the ground in front of him. Immediately following this great time of celebration over the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, he begins his journey to the cross. The blessing is thus followed by a procession or solemn entrance into the church, with the participants holding the blessed branches in their hands. The Mass or service of worship itself includes a reading of the Passion, the narrative of Jesus’ capture, sufferings and death, as recounted in one of the Synoptic Gospels. (In the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite celebrated according to the Roman Missal of 1962, the Passion narrative read on this day is always that of St. Matthew.)

Before the reform of the rite by Pope Pius XII, the blessing of the palms occurred inside the church within a service that followed the general outline of a Mass, with Collect, Epistle and Gospel, as far as the Sanctus. The palms were then blessed with five prayers, and a procession went out of the church and on its return included a ceremony for the reopening of the doors, which had meantime been shut. After this the normal Mass was celebrated.

The days between Palm Sunday and Holy Thursday are known as Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and Spy Wednesday (Holy Wednesday). The Gospel accounts are not always clear or in agreement on the events which occurred on these days, though there are traditional observances held by some denominations to commemorate certain events from the last days of Jesus’ life. Among them

On Holy Monday, some observe the anointing of Jesus at Bethany, an event that in the Gospel of John occurred before the Palm Sunday event described in John 12:12–19. Other events which the Gospels tell of which may have occurred on this day include cursing the fig tree and the Cleansing of the Temple. On Holy Tuesday, some observe Jesus’ predictions of his own death, as described in John 12:20–36 and John 13:21–38. (In the extraordinary form of the Roman rite, the Passion according to St. Mark is read instead.)

On Spy Wednesday, some observe the story of Judas arranging his betrayal of Jesus with the high priests.For this reason, the day is sometimes called Spy Wednesday In the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the Passion according to St. Luke is read instead. Other events connected with this date include the events at the house of Simon the Leper, especially the anointing of Jesus by Mary of Bethany, the events of which directly preceded the betrayal by Judas to the Sanhedrin.

On Holy Thursday, the Chrism Mass, is celebrated at the Naga Cathedral with Archbishop as the celebrant. The Caceres Clergy joins the archbishop as they renew their vows. In this Mass, the bishop blesses separate oils for the sick (used in Anointing of the Sick), for catechumens (used in Baptism) and chrism which is used in baptism, confirmation and holy orders.

In the evening of Holy Thursday, we also commemorate the Last Supper, where Christ lays out the model for the Eucharist or Holy Communion. During the meal, Jesus predicted the events that would immediately follow, including his betrayal, the Denial of Peter, and his death and resurrection. Events of the last supper play varying roles in commemoration services depending on the denomination.

In the Catholic Church, on this day the private celebration of Mass is forbidden. Thus, apart from the Chrism Mass for the blessing of the Holy Oils that the diocesan bishop may celebrate on the morning of Holy Thursday, but also on some other day close to Easter, the only Mass on this day is the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which inaugurates the period of three days, known as the Easter Triduum, that includes Good Friday (seen as beginning with the service of the preceding evening), Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday up to evening prayer on that day.

The Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his Twelve Apostles, “the institution of the Eucharist, the institution of the priesthood, and the commandment of brotherly love that Jesus gave after washing the feet of his disciples.”

All the bells of the church, including altar bells, may be rung during the Gloria in Excelsis Deo of the Mass (the Gloria is not traditionally sung on Sundays in Lent). The bells then fall silent and the organ and other musical instruments may be used only to support the singing until the Gloria at the Easter Vigil.

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent death. Commemorations of often solemn and mournful, many denominations use Good Friday to perform the Stations of the Cross, or other commemorations of the Passion, either as a self-guided time of reflection and veneration or as a procession of statues or images of the stations.

All 18 -60 yrs old catholics observe fasting while 14yrs catholic observe abstinence from meat. The Church mourns for Christ’s death, reveres the Cross, and marvels at his life for his obedience until death.

Holy Saturday is the day between the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection. As the Sabbath day, the Gospel accounts all note that Jesus was hurriedly buried in a cave tomb after his crucifixion, with the intent to finish proper embalming and burial ceremonies on Sunday, after the Sabbath had ended, as the Sabbath day prohibitions would have prevented observant Jews from completing a proper burial. While daytime services or commemorations of the day are rare in the Western tradition, after sundown on Holy Saturday is the traditional time for Easter Vigil.

In the Catholic tradition, Mass is not celebrated on what is liturgically Holy Saturday. The celebration of Easter begins after sundown on what, though still Saturday in the civil calendar, is liturgically Easter Sunday. Easter Day, which immediately follows Holy Week and begins with the Easter Vigil, is the great feast day and apogee of the Christian liturgical year: on this day the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. It is the first day of the new season of the Great Fifty Days, or Eastertide, which runs from Easter Day to Pentecost Sunday. The Resurrection of Christ on Easter Day is the main reason why Christians keep every Sunday as the primary day of religious observance. (Based on Catholic.org)