Posted by Mo. Lyn on Apr 03, 2017 Comments (0)
Holy Week is the week immediately preceding Easter Sunday. The first written mention of the observance of these days in the church appeared in the latter half of the third century. The observances and the days on which they occur are:
Palm Sunday – The celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The service consists of the blessing of palms, a procession, the reading of the passion gospel, as well as Eucharist.
Holy Wednesday – The celebration of Tenebrae is held in some churches and consists of the gradual extinguishing of candles while scriptures including the psalms are read. The church is finally left in total darkness when a loud noise, recalling the earthquake during Christ’s passion is made, and the last candle is brought back and lighted. The congregation leaves by its light.
Maundy Thursday – Commemorates the institution of the Last Supper. During this service there is foot washing in remembrance of Jesus’ washing the disciples feet during the Last Supper, followed by Eucharist and the solemn stripping of the altar in preparation for Good Friday.
Good Friday – The observance of the time Christ hung on the cross. It may consist of the Stations of the Cross. The Seven Last Words spoken by Christ on the cross, and/or the Veneration of the Cross.
Easter Vigil – Observed after sundown on the day before Easter. It includes the lighting of the new fire of Easter from which the Paschal candle is lit, selected readings from scripture telling of God’s saving action, baptisms and renewal of baptismal vows and the first Eucharist of Easter.