As the name states, “Holy Week”, this is a very important time of the year for us Catholics to keep holy. Many graces are being offered to us in this holy time as we relive the Glory, Passion, Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Palm Sunday. This day we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem to exclamations of “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord”.
We start Holy Week with the reading of the Gospel of Jesus entering into Jerusalem and the blessing of the Palms, everyone receives one while 1) genuflecting and 2) kissing the priests hand and 3) kissing the Blessed Palm. Then we join in with the solemn procession with the blessed palms, out in public, to remind them and us of the kingly entrance our Messiah Jesus made to start His passion. This is followed by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the passion of Jesus according to St. Matthew being read.
Holy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Try to make the daily Latin mass.
Holy Thursday. On the night before Jesus died, He celebrated the Last Supper, (The Jewish Passover Meal) with His disciples. His apostle Judas leaves to betray Jesus. Then after singing the Psalms, Jesus left with them to the Garden of Gethsemani where He would pray and go through His agony to the point of sweating blood. It was here that the betrayer Judas brought the guards to arrest Him. He was then brought before Caiphas the high priest, scribes and ancients so that they could come up with (false) evidence to have Him put to death. Here they spit in His face, buffeted Him and ridiculed Him.
Make every effort to go the the Mass of the Last Supper where the apostles have their feet washed and Jesus gives us His Body and Blood and the Passover Lamb in the New Covenant. The Mass ends with the procession of the Holy Eucharist to the Altar of Repose where we adore Jesus truly present in the Host. We try to at least watch one hour with Jesus in His agony.
Good Friday. Jesus was brought before Pontius Pilate to be condemned to death. Even though Pilate proclaimed Him innocent, he turned Him over to the guards to be scourged. He was then condemned to death by crucifixion by the Jewish leaders and the crowds. They said, “Let the blood of Him be on us and on our children”. He carried the cross to Calvary. After three hours of torture, He died on the cross. Then He was buried.
In union with Jesus Passion, we fast with two meals and abstain from all meat. Try to not work or do anything from 12 pm till after the passion ceremony. Be sure to go to the 3 pm ceremony. It is not the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. There you can relive Jesus’ passion as the Gospel of St John is read. Then you can, with great reverence, kiss the crucifix asking Jesus to forgive you for crucifying Him. Then you can humbly receive Holy Communion.
Holy Saturday. This day we keep by morning the death of Jesus as if we were really present at His tomb. We do the least activities possible, (only what is necessary to celebrate the Joyful Easter the next day). Try to avoid stores and superficial activities. For those who can, go to the Easter Vigil Solemn High Latin Mass that evening. It is one of the most beautiful masses of the whole year. It is very long with the 1) Blessing of the New Fire, 2) Blessing of the Paschal Candle, 3) Procession and singing of the Exultet, 4) Listening to the 5 Lessons from the Prophets, 5) Praying the Litanies, 6) Blessing the Baptismal Water, 7) Renewal of you Baptismal Promises, 8) First Solemn Mass of Easter.
Easter. Jesus was tortured to death and was in the tomb from Friday afternoon till early Sunday morning when He rose from the dead. This is the day to rejoice and be glad. Dress in you very best for Jesus. Go early to Holy Latin Mass if you did not go to the Vigil mass the night before. And if you did, go to mass again. Reflect on the great Victory Jesus won for us over the devil, death and enslavement to sin. We are free children of God. Spend time eating slowly with friends and family. Especially invite those who are alone and have no one to celebrate this great feast with. Spend so time in prayer and if possible some time meditating and talking with Jesus Resurrected in the Blessed Sacrament. The greatest miracle ever to happen in the history of Mankind is Jesus resurrection from the dead after all the Jews, soldiers and disciples witnessed him in the grave from Friday till Sunday Morning. This is why we are followers of Jesus.
Let us make every effort to leave the world, television, Facebook, computer, shopping and talking to enter into God’s holy time. This week is time to spend a lot of time everyday at church. We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics and know that Jesus suffered, died and rose to forgive our sins and give us a new life in Him.