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Guidelines for Celebrating Liturgy during Holy Week

As we approach Holy Week Christians throughout the world reflect upon the scriptures. The way in which Christians interpret these scriptures has had an historical great influence upon the way in which the Church has understood itself with regard to Jews and Judaism.

Awareness of the possibilities of anti-semitic interpretations and preaching is brought to consciousness during Holy Week. For this reason various churches and Jewish-Christian dialogue groups have prepared guidelines for teaching and preaching during Holy Week. Guidelines are also recommended for Christians with regard to the Jewish Passover and Passover Seders.

The following web sites provide links for Christians: preachers, teachers and communities, as we approach Holy Week.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Guidelines for Catholic-Jewish Relations. May 1992. Published at Jewish-Christian Relations web site. Appendix: Passover.

Broken Bay Institute, N.S.W.Teaching Without Intended Prejudice guildelines
Preaching without unintended prejudice:
Lenten notes for homilists, teachers and catechists.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
God's Mercy Endures Forever: Guidelines on the Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic Preaching. September 1988.
Jews and Judaism in the Liturgies of Lent and Holy Week. 1985.
Questions & Answers about Catholic-Jewish Relations.
What does the Church say about Christians celebrating a Jewish Seder?
What does the Church say about the Jewish Covenant and the place of the Jewish people in the economy of salvation?
Are the Jewish people guilty of killing Christ?
How does the Church understand groups mentioned in the Gospel such as "the Jews," "the Pharisees" and "the Chief Priests, Scribes and Elders?"

The Vatican
Pope Paul VI (1965) Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate.
Commission for religious Relations with the Jews (1974). Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration "Nostra Aetate" (N4).
Commission for religious Relations with the Jews (1985). On the Correct Way to Present the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in The Roman Catholic Church.
The Pontifical Biblical Commission. The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible.

Message of His Holiness Pope Frances for Lent 2016
"I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13).
The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee.


Page Updated: 8 March, 2016

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