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Why do we commemorate Holy Week?

Holy Week honors the week that changed the world. From Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday, there were many events that are vital to our faith, including the Institution of the Eucharist, the Passion of Jesus, and His Resurrection from the dead.


What should we do during Holy Week?

During Holy Week, the faithful can attend Masses and special events at their parishes, such as the Stations of the Cross. In addition, everyone can commemorate Holy Week at home. We can read the Scripture, particularly the passages that teach us about the events of Palm Sunday through Good Friday. We can also pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. It is also a good week to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, if we haven’t been during Lent, and on Good Friday to begin the Divine Mercy Novena which leads up to Divine Mercy Sunday. Our Lord asked St. Faustina for these devotions that the graces of the Redemption may be more abundantly poured out on souls.

What is the meaning of Holy Week?

Holy Week, particularly Christ’s Passion and Death, is a great reminder of God’s Love for humanity. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 604) says, By giving up his own Son for our sins, God manifests that his plan for us is one of benevolent love, prior to any merit on our part: “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins.” God “shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

Why is it called Passion Week?

This is the week when we reflect on the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, beginning with the Gospel reading of Palm Sunday which recounts the events of Our Lord’s Pasch (Passover).

What are the Five Days of Holy Week?

The days of Holy Week include Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday); Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday (sometimes called Spy Wednesday, in reference to Judas’ betrayal), Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday (Holy Friday), and Holy Saturday – the days immediately preceding Easter Sunday. Beginning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, the Church also refers to the period that includes Easter Sunday as the Sacred Triduum.

What is the most important day of Holy Week?

The most important events in Christianity are the death and later Resurrection of Jesus Christ. On Good Friday, we mourn the death of our Savior. On Easter Sunday, we joyously celebrate His triumph over death.

“It should be known that Pilate administered the Roman law, which enacted that every one who was crucified should first be scourged. Jesus then is given up to the soldiers to be beaten, and they tore with whips that most holy body and capacious bosom of God.” - St. Jerome

What happened on Palm Sunday?

The Gospel of St. Matthew gives us this account: And when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If any one says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the ass and the colt, and put their garments on them, and he sat thereon. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:1-9)

Why is Palm Sunday also called Passion Sunday?

Although the Gospel account of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem is read at the beginning of Mass when the palms are blessed, the Gospel of the Passion is then read at the usual place for the Gospel during the Liturgy of the Word. This marks the solemn beginning of the commemoration of the Lord’s Passion and Death.

Why did Jesus go to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraphs 559-560) explains the following: How will Jerusalem welcome her Messiah? Although Jesus had always refused popular attempts to make him king, he chooses the time and prepares the details for his messianic entry into the city of “his father David.” Acclaimed as son of David, as the one who brings salvation (Hosanna means “Save!” or “Give salvation!”), the “King of glory” enters his City “riding on an ass.” Jesus conquers the Daughter of Zion, a figure of his Church, neither by ruse nor by violence, but by the humility that bears witness to the truth. And so the subjects of his kingdom on that day are children and God's poor, who acclaim him as had the angels when they announced him to the shepherds. Their acclamation, “Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord,” is taken up by the Church in the “Sanctus” of the Eucharistic liturgy that introduces the memorial of the Lord’s Passover. Jesus' entry into Jerusalem manifested the coming of the kingdom that the King-Messiah was going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection. It is with the celebration of that entry on Palm Sunday that the Church’s liturgy solemnly opens Holy Week.

What does Palm Sunday symbolize?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 570) tells us: Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem manifests the coming of the kingdom that the Messiah-King, welcomed into his city by children and the humble of heart, is going to accomplish by the Passover of his Death and Resurrection.

“If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will?” - Jesus to St. Faustina

What did Jesus do on Monday of Holy Week?

St. Matthew 21:12-17 tells us: And Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.” And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant; and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast brought perfect praise’?” And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there.

What did Jesus do on Tuesday of Holy Week?

St. John 12:20-38 tells us what Jesus did the Tuesday before His Passion: Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew went with Philip and they told Jesus. And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him. “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out; and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show by what death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Christ remains for ever. How can you say that the Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said this, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, yet they did not believe in him; it was that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: “Lord, who has believed our report, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

What did Jesus do on Wednesday of Holy Week?

Often called “Spy Wednesday,” this is the day when Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The account of St. Luke 22:1-6 tells us, Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people. Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the Twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and captains how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and engaged to give him money. So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of the multitude.

“When we contemplate the sufferings of Jesus, He grants us, according to the measure of our faith, the grace to practice the virtues He revealed during those sacred hours.” – St. Angela Merici

What happened at the Last Supper?

Mark 14:12-25 gives us one account of the Last Supper, which occurred on Holy Thursday. And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?” And he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the householder, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the passover. And when it was evening he came with the twelve. And as they were at table eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread in the same dish with me. For the Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” And as they were eating, he took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Why do they call it Maundy Thursday?

“Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum” (command or commandment). At the Last Supper, Jesus gave His disciples this command: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34).

Why do we wash feet on Holy Thursday?

We do this in imitation of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper, who illustrated the Christian nature of authority as service by this action. St. John 13:1-17 tells us: Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded. He came to Simon Peter; and Peter said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not know now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part in me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but he is clean all over; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “You are not all clean.” When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Who crucified Jesus?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (paragraph 597) says, So they all blessed the ways of the Lord, the righteous Judge, who reveals the things that are hidden; and they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened because of the sin of those who had fallen. He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin. . . . [N]either all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his Passion. . . [T]he Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture. Further, the Catechism teaches: Jesus’ violent death was not the result of chance in an unfortunate coincidence of circumstances, but is part of the mystery of God’s plan, as St. Peter explains to the Jews of Jerusalem in his first sermon on Pentecost: “This Jesus [was] delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.” This Biblical language does not mean that those who handed him over were merely passive players in a scenario written in advance by God. To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination,” he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. (paragraphs 599-600)

What did Jesus say on the cross before He died?

Known as the Seven Last Words, these are the phrases that Our Lord spoke according to the Gospel accounts of His crucifixion.

  1. Luke 23:34: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

  2. Luke 23:43: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

  3. John 19:26–27: (To the Blessed Virgin) “Woman, behold, your son!” (To St. John) “Behold, your mother!”

  4. Matthew 27:46 (and Mark 15:34): “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

  5. John 19:28: “I thirst.”

  6. John 19:30: “It is finished.”

  7. Luke 23:46: “Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!”

Where is the original Cross of Jesus?

While significant pieces of the Cross are kept in Rome in the church called Holy Cross in Jerusalem, over the centuries a great many fragments have also been distributed as holy relics. READ MORE

Does Jesus’ Crown of Thorns still exist?

Relics of the Crown are found in various places including Rome. The best known, however, is in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. In the fire of 2019, which almost destroyed Notre Dame, it was successfully rescued before the roof collapsed. Here is the 2020 veneration of the Crown of Thorns at the Notre Dame Cathedral. WATCH NOW

“Unless there is a Good Friday in your life, there can be no Easter Sunday.” – Ven. Fulton Sheen