Holy Week is one of the most important weeks in the Catholic Church. Not only is it a part of the Lenten season, but it is also the week where we remember the life and death of Christ. In Holy Week, we celebrate Jesus’ love for us, as He died on the cross and resurrected for us to have eternal life.
If you find yourself a bit confused about what exactly is Holy Week, what are the critical days and dates that you have to remember, and want to know a bit of information about this vital week, well, we are here to help!
To start, Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, which is also the last day of Lent. During Palm Sunday, the Church conducts a blessing of Palms to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The readings for Palm Sunday is known as one of the most extended Gospel readings since it narrates the story of the Passion of Christ.
The Triduum consists of three days to pray and remember three essential days in Christ’s passion. The Triduum begins on Holy Thursday and ends on the Easter Vigil celebration, which happens on Holy Saturday.
Holy Thursday can also called Maundy Thursday. During Holy Thursday, it is customary that the Catholic Church commemorates the Last Supper. The celebration of the mass happens on sundown, then a procession of the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament commences as the priests place it on the Altar of Repose. After this, there will be no masses celebrated again until the Easter Vigil.
Good Friday is the day that we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus. It is also the second day of the Easter Triduum. On Good Friday, we do not celebrate mass; however, we observe three things on Good Friday: the Liturgy of the Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Communion. Do take note that fasting and abstinence from meat are required on Good Friday.
Easter Sunday is a very important day, and it is the day that Christ rose from the dead, a day that symbolizes our Christian faith. Usually, families celebrate Easter Sunday by attending Easter Sunday mass and having a family easter feast to commemorate Christ’s resurrection.
Holy Week Dates
The Season of Lent’s dates differ every year, and it is not something standard like other important dates of celebration in the Catholic Church. To find out this year’s Holy Week dates and timeline, you can check our Lenten timeline post here.
Holy Week Activities At Home
During the hustle of Holy Week, various parishes, prayer groups, and families extend invitations to participate in Lenten retreats—a precious opportunity to dedicate focused time to prayer. However, the demands of work and life often pose challenges for attendance. A practical solution is to embrace the convenience of an online Catholic retreat.
One online retreat that we love doing and recommend is the Pray More Retreat, a purely online program accessible from Ash Wednesday through Holy Week. Featuring both video and audio formats, participants can choose to watch or listen to the enlightening talks, complemented by free study guides for reflection. The online format ensures flexibility, allowing individuals to partake in this spiritually enriching experience anytime and anywhere for everyone wherever part of the world you may be.