|Holy week explained|
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|Holy week explained|
Holy week explained
On Palm Sunday, we commemorate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem before his crucifixion. As Jesus rode into the city on a small donkey, the Jews gathered around him, throwing cloaks and palm branches on the road and exclaiming praises as he passed by. So at Palm Sunday Mass, there is a blessing of palms which the faithful hold as they process into church. The blessed palms are later kept in the home as a witness to faith in Jesus Christ. During Palm Sunday Mass, the Gospel account of the Passion of Christ is announced.
On Holy Thursday, we celebrate a special Mass of the Lord’s Supper – that commemorates the institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. On the night before Jesus Christ was crucified, he changed bread and wine into his own Body and Blood, and he commanded the Apostles – and their successors through the centuries – to act in his stead and re-present this sacrifice. So at every Mass, by way of transubstantiation, the bread and wine offered by the priest becomes Christ’s Body and Blood again.
A VACANT CHURCH . The Mass of the Lord’s Supper finished, the church – now without the Eucharist – is truly empty. So the tabernacle light – which is always lit and signifying Christ’s presence – is extinguished, and
Good Friday is a day of strict fasting and abstinence. Those over 18 and under the age of 60 are required to fast, which means that they can eat only one complete meal and two smaller ones during the day, with no food in between. We refrain from eating any meat, or any food made with meat, on Good Friday.
The Stations of the Cross devotion is centered on the Passion of Christ. While many pray the meditative prayer on their own throughout the year, it can be an especially poignant experience during Holy Week, when the entire church recalls the way of Jesus’ suffering and death. By praying the Stations of the Cross, a person makes a spiritual pilgrimage to the principal scenes of the salvific Passion of the Lord, aided by artistic representations of those scenes.
On Good Friday, the church gathers for the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, which includes a reading of a Gospel account of the Passion, Holy Communion (consecrated at Mass on Thursday night) and veneration of the Cross.
On this day, the Church waits at the Lord's tomb, and meditates on His Passion and Death and His descent into Hell. With prayer and fasting we await His glorious Easter resurrection. Mary is also a Holy Saturday symbol. According to Catholic tradition, Mary represents the entire body of the Church. As she awaited in faith for the victorious triumph of Her Son over death on the first Holy Saturday, so we too wait with Mary on the present Holy Saturday.
Mass as usual (8.30am, 10.00am, 11.30am 1.00pm) Easter eggs will be distributed at the 10.00am children’s Mass.