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Entering into Holy Week (The Triduum)
What is it and how can we unite our suffering with Christ on Calvary
"Of the weeks in the Church's year Holy Week is truly singular for the fullness, majesty, and devotion of the ceremonies."1
Whether you have been committed to your Lenten sacrifice, are just getting started, are new to the Church, are returning, or are a regular at mass, Holy Week is your call to draw close to the Lord. Leave yourself behind and enter into the Sacrifice with Christ. We enter into Holy Week primarily through the liturgy, but also by reading the Gospels and taking more time for silent prayer. There is no better time to recommit ourselves to the Lord than through commitment this week. Christ rode boldly into Jerusalem knowing the same people who praised him would crucify Him, we also need to walk boldly with Christ knowing along the way there will be those who want to crucify us.
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” 2
As you recommit yourself this week I wanted to share some things that can inspire and assist you on your walk with Christ.
Confession before Easter!
Pray the Sorrowful Mysteries Daily and/or Seven Sorrows Chaplet
Hour or even a day of silence
Read Scripture daily
Morning Prayer/ Evening Prayer
~Holy Week summary~
On Palm Sunday, we celebrated our Lord's entry into Jerusalem. Tradition continues on Holy Wednesday or also known as Spy Wednesday. This day commemorates the Bargain of Judas by a clandestine spy among the disciples. On this day we can make reparation for the betrayal of Judas and ourselves. It is on Holy Thursday that the institution of the Eucharist is celebrated, washing of the feet and the blessing of the Holy Oils is done. It is also on Thursday after the masses (at times done instead of Friday) that the alter is stripped.
“After the evening Mass the Alter is stripped in order to show that the holy Sacrifice is interrupted and will not be offered again until Holy Saturday is ending.”3
Holy Thursday is a reflection on God’s love for us. The Faithful are invited to render adoration to the blessed sacrament after mass or on this day. We can use this day to enter into the garden with Christ. Offering ourselves to the will of God.
“Let the faithful be taught about the love with which Christ our Lord on the day before He suffered instituted the sacred and Holy Eucharist, Sacrifice, and Sacrament, the perpetual memorial of His Passion, to be offered day by day thought his ministry of His priest…Let the faithful be taught the deep significance of this Holy rite, and let them spend this day in words of Christian charity.” 4
After Holy Thursday We enter into, Christ Crucified, Good Friday. It is on this day that we read St.John’s story of the Passion, and then participate in the unveiling and adoration of the Cross. Though this devotion cannot be constituted as mass it is followed by a short service; all who attend receive sacred host consecrated at the mass of the previous day. 5
Holy Saturday is liturgically a day of deepest mourning, there is no mass and the altar is bare. Our Lord is in the tomb and we look forward to the resurrection tomorrow. There may be a blessing of Baptismal Water on this day as well.
Alleluia, Eastertide! A time of uninterrupted joy and feast.
“Eastertide begins at Easter and ends on the Saturday after Pentecost… We celebrate the mysteries of the Resurrection, the Ascension, and the Descent to of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles and His Church.” 6
Eater is a day of joy, purity and redemption. Celebrate by making Hot Cross buns, monkey bread, or resurrection rolls!
“God Hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ - He hath raised us up together with Christ and hath made us sit together in the heavenly places.” (St Paul)
Christ says to His Apostles, “You have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me. Very truly, I tell you, if you ask of anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” 7
Stay close with Christ this week and remember as we continue through Lent, we are reminded of the ultimate sacrifice that Christ made. We have spent time with Christ in the desert, and now we are preparing for our walk on Calvary. Let us also continue this walk carrying our cross to Cavalry every day of our lives.
Blessings this Holy Week
Catholic Church, Holy Roman Daily Missal, (Kansas City, MO: Angelus Press, 1962), 453.
The Holy Bible, Revised Edition, (San Francisco, CA : Ignatius Press, 2006), John 15:19.
Catholic Church, Holy Roman Daily Missal, (Kansas City, MO: Angelus Press, 1962), 507.
Roman Missal, 506.
Roman Missal, 536.
Roman Missal, 595.
The Holy Bible, Revised Edition, (San Francisco, CA : Ignatius Press, 2006), John 16:22-23.