Holy Week, which begins on the Sixth Sunday of Lent, now known as Palm Sunday or Passion Sunday, is to celebrate the Lord’s Passion beginning with his messianic entry into Jerusalem.
The celebration of the Easter Triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ at the end of Holy Week is the culmination of the entire liturgical year. The Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, continues through his crucifixion on Good Friday and reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil; it closes with the evening prayer on Easter Sunday.
The Triduum is one continuous celebration. This is underlined by the omission of a concluding rite on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. It’s as if the liturgies of these two days are saying to us, “We are not done yet. To be continued.”
Here, Daniel Tay and Joyce Gan of CatholicNews write on some aspects of the theology, rituals and other interesting features of the celebrations in a question-and-answer format.
A woman touches the hand of Jesus on the cross in a mosaic of the 11th Station of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The church is built on the site traditionally accepted as the burial place of Christ. CNS photo
(continued on page 2)