Holy Week and The Easter Triduum
What is Holy Week?
Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday and the celebration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, commemorates the Jesus' last days, his passion and death, and culminates, on Easter Sunday, with the resurrection of the Jesus, the Lord.
On Holy Thursday evening the Mass of the Lord's Supper commemorates Jesus' last supper in Jerusalem and the institution of the Eucharist, and begins the Easter Triduum.
On Good Friday, the people of God recall, with solemn recollection and meditation, Jesus' arrest and crucifixion. The readings of the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday night recall the history of salvation and culminate in the glorious celebration of triumph over deathe, the resurrection, on Easter Sunday.
Christian rituals in during Holy Week
The Easter Triduum, commemorating the days of the Lord’s passion and resurrection, is recognized as the culmination of the entire liturgical year. Beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday) the triduum reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil (Saturday night) and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday, the day of the Lord’s resurrection.
The Holy Oils
During Holy Week the Holy Oils, used symbolically in the Churches, are blessed and consecrated. These oils are: Chrism (Gk. anointing), used in sacramental anointing, the Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick. Consecrated by the bishop in his particular church [on Holy Thursday morning] these oils are distributed among the priests (and pastoral associates) for use in parishes.
Guidelines for Celebrating Liturgies in Holy Week
Awareness of the possibilities of anti-semitic interpretations and preaching should be heightened in Christian consciousness during Holy Week.
Guidelines are recommended for Christians with regard to homilies and dramatizations of the gospels in ways that misrepresent the Jews, both now or in the gospels. Link to Guidelines for Holy Week.
Etz Hayim—“Tree of Life” © 2010
Resources for Christian-Jewish relations and dialogue, and a joint biblical, spiritual
and liturgical self-consciousness and cooperation.