Preparing for Holy Week
Holy Week is a special time in the Catholic faith, marked by the commemoration of the last week of Jesus Christ's life on Earth. It begins on Palm Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday, and it is a time for reflection, prayer, and preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection.
For Catholics, Holy Week is a time to reflect on the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a time to remember his sacrifice for humanity and to prepare for the joyous celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday. During this week, we participate in various traditions, such as the Stations of the Cross, the washing of the feet, and the veneration of the cross.
To prepare for Holy Week, it is important to take time to reflect on your faith and to examine your life in light of the teachings of Jesus Christ. This can involve reading Scripture, participating in a Lenten retreat, or attending Mass more frequently.
It is also important to make time for prayer and reflection during Holy Week. This can involve setting aside a few minutes each day for quiet contemplation, or attending a Holy Week service at your local parish.
In addition to prayer and reflection, it is important to make a conscious effort to live out the values of Holy Week in your daily life. This can involve acts of charity and service, such as volunteering at a food bank or visiting the sick and elderly.
Overall, Holy Week is an important time for us to deepen their faith and prepare for the celebration of Easter. By taking the time to reflect, pray, and live out the values of Holy Week, we can strengthen our relationship with God and our community.
Palm Sunday - Apr 2, 2023
Palm Sunday celebrates Jesus's triumphant arrival into Jerusalem and is a Holy Day of Obligation. The gospel on this Sunday is Mark's writings of the passion of Jesus Christ. Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week in preparation for Jesus's last supper, death, and resurrection.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
Holy Thursday - Apr 6, 2023
Holy Thursday is the first day of the Triduum in the Catholic Church and is considered one of the most important masses of the year. During this mass, the priest will wash the feet of twelve members of the parish just as Jesus did for the twelve apostles. This is the day of the Last Supper or the first mass.
“Jesus, Your love is eternal. We offer You a place in our home and in our hearts. Come, help us open our door to You, stay with us. Bring us Your peace and Your joy.”
Good Friday - Apr 7, 2023
Good Friday is a very solemn day of prayer as it is the day Jesus dies on the cross. There is no mass celebrated on this day throughout the world but catholics are encouraged to attend a service, prayer service, or stations of the cross between the hours of 12pm and 3pm. This is a day of fasting and abstinence as we remember the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for all sinners.
“Lord Jesus, every death reminds us of our mortality. The thought of it scares us so.
O Lord, though we abhor your agony on the Cross, Your death reminds us of a new and brighter beginning.
Blessed are You, O suffering Christ!”
Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil) - Apr 8, 2023
The Easter Vigil is the day before the Resurrection where Jesus is still laid in the tomb. This is a great day to be with family and dye Easter eggs in preparation for the Resurrection of Jesus. The Easter Vigil mass begins with a fire outside of the church and is followed by every person lighting a candle and carrying on with the mass inside. There are seven readings from the Old Testament read that foreshadow the death and resurrection of Our Savior.
This is the night of nights,
the night of faith and of hope.
While all is shrouded in darkness,
God, the Light, keeps watch.
With him there keep watch all who hope and trust in Him.
Resurrection Sunday (Easter) - Apr 9, 2023
He is Risen! Easter Sunday is the most joyous day of the year when we celebrate Jesus's glorious triumph over death. This day should be celebrated by attending mass, enjoying time with family and friends and reflecting on your lenten journey.
Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead, the first of the sleepers, Glory and power are his forever and ever.
— St. Hippolytus of Rome