Ok, so can you guys believe that Lent is almost over?! Time went by so fast! So this just means two, super awesome things: Firstly, that Easter is right around the corner. Second, that Holy Week is right next door. So what’s Holy Week? Sure you’ve heard it before, maybe in your religion or CCD class. Maybe you’ve heard a priest mention it in his homily. Well in case you’re still a little confused about this whole Holy Week excitement, here’s a little 411 on what you as a Catholic should know and why you should be preparing for it!
Holy week is the last week of lent, marking the days leading up to Easter Sunday. I like to call it the “Home Stretch” of Lent. Holy Week is so important because it’s when we as Christians celebrate and honor the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us on the Cross at Calvary.
The final days of Lent are called the Easter Triduum. It begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the Evening of Holy Thursday, it continues through Good Friday and Holy Saturday and ends with evening prayers on Easter Sunday. These are three days of heartfelt reflection of our salvation through Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross, as well as the ultimate celebration that Jesus conquered death on Easter through His resurrection! Here’s a breakdown of these days and how you can make this upcoming Holy Week a meaningful one in your life:
Holy Thursday: Holy Thursday marks the day Jesus celebrated the Last Supper with His 12 apostles. During this time Jesus washed the feet of his apostles (a sign of priestly ordination) and most importantly He instituted the Eucharist! So Awesome!!! On Holy Thursday there is an evening mass, in which there is a washing of the feet. I encourage all of you to attend this mass at one of our Catholic parishes. If you’re unable to attend this mass, maybe you can pray the rosary, say a Divine Mercy chaplet. Maybe you can spend some quiet time reflecting on the importance of the Eucharist in our lives. Reading the bible is also a great way to reflect on the meaning of this holy day. Try reading the Mark 14, Luke 22, John 13.
Good Friday: Good Friday is one of the most important days EVER! It is the day Jesus paid the ultimate price for us and died for us ALL, so we could be saved! It is customary on Good Friday that one be silent from 12pm-3pm (the hour of Jesus’ death). This is a day of fasting. On Good Friday Catholic parishes don’t have mass, but do have a Communion service, followed by the Veneration of the Cross. The Veneration of the Cross is when we are given an opportunity to pray in front of a cross as a sign of reverence for our Savior who took on the Cross for our salvation. This service is usually followed by the Stations of the Cross. So what can you do to observe Good Friday? For starters, try to attend one of the Communion Services and the Veneration of the Cross at one of the local Catholic Parishes. If you cannot make it to one because you’re in school, there are other things you can do to observe this day. You can fast (remember NO meat), it’s customary to wear black on this day, don’t listen to music or watch tv, you can also commit to being silent from noon- 3pm.
Holy Saturday: Holy Saturday is a day of silence in which we are awaiting the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you have something to do with your family that day and have to go out, make sure you set aside a time for quiet prayer. Thank Jesus for dying for you on the cross. Maybe you can pray the rosary, a Divine Mercy Chaplet or go to the Communion Service at your Catholic parish.
Easter Sunday: Time to CELEBRATE!!!!! Easter Sunday is much more than a bunny and eggs. Easter is the day Our Lord Jesus rose from the dead!!! It’s a day to rejoice that we have a God who was willing to conquer death on our behalf and save us all. Be happy!! Go to Sunday Mass and continue to Thank God for dying and rising for us!!!
Remember, Lent is a time of transformation. It’s a time to sacrifice and become the person God has called us to be. As we prepare ourselves for Holy Week I pray that you will continue to reflect on the Love God has for us in sending us His only Son to die for us. In doing this may you commit yourselves to observe the Easter Triduum the best you can and to walk with Jesus on His way to calvary and rejoice with Him on the day He rose from the dead.
Remember, God’s not asking us to be perfect, He’s asking us for our whole hearts, that we may serve and love Him!
Praying for you!!!