Today we start Holy Week by the blessing and distributing Palms which signifies the triumphant arrival of Jesus into Jerusalem before his death and Resurrection.
This journey continues on Holy Thursday as we celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper. Our Mass is highlighted by the washing of the feet symbolizing Jesus washing of the feet at the last supper. Today is a great feast of the Eucharist and after Mass there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until night prayer at 10pm. Then the altar is stripped awaiting the sorrow of Good Friday.
On Good Friday we celebrate the Passion of the Lord. Good Friday is different from all our other days in the year as we do not celebrate Mass. We do receive Holy Communion but the Holy Sacrament that has been consecrated on Holy Thursday. On Good Friday we begin by Sacred Readings including the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John. This is followed by a very solemn Prayer of the Faithful, 12 petitions in all from the Church to non-believers. The second part of the service is the adoration of the Cross and distribution of Holy Communion. Finally the faithful will adore the Cross.
The Easter Vigil: On Holy Saturday of this night’s Vigil which is the greatest and most notable of all solemnities begins with the Easter Proclamation after the blessing of the Easter candle in a darkened church. Holy Church meditates on the wonders the Lord has done for his people from the beginning. Then in most churches the Catechumens are baptized and confirmed in the faith and the Holy Water is blessed for another year. The service is brought to a joyful close with the celebration of the Eucharist.
Holy Week is designed by the Church for the faithful to come alive in the faith. She hopes that all Christians will consider Holy Week as a special week of retreat a week we follow Jesus from his triumphal march into Jerusalem to his Passion and death on the Cross ending or should we say the beginning of His Glorious Resurrection.