Palm Sunday and Holy Week Activities

HOLY WEEK, a term used for the ending of Lent and the completion of the journey to Easter. Lent is continued until the Mass of the Lord”s Supper on Holy Thursday which begins the celebration of the Great Three Days, The Triduum. The ancient name for Holy Thursday is Maundy Thursday taken from Jesus’ words, “Mandatum novum da nobis”, “a new commandment I give you”, the words that began the ancient foot-washing ceremony. It is on this day that we commemorate the The Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. The Mass ends with the Blessed Sacrament being taken away (as Jesus was taken away after the betrayal of Judas) to a place other than the church proper where adoration will take place until midnight and in some places until the next morning.

Good Friday is a day of subdued activity. No traditional Mass is permitted on this day. Many “keep watch” from noon to midday. Stations of the Cross take place at Our Lady of the Mountains at 3:00 in the afternoon. The Mass of the Presanctified is celebrated in the evening with the Veneration of the Cross, prayers for the world and the reading of Our Lord’s Passion.

There is no morning Mass on the day before Easter Sunday. Jesus is in the tomb and all is quiet in anticipation of His rising from the dead early Sunday morning.

Celebration of the Resurrection during the Easter Vigil begins with the Lighting of the New Fire and the Paschal Candle representing Jesus, the Light of the world. The beautiful Exultet is sung, bells ring, water is blessed, Gloria in excelsis Deo! resounds, and the world is once again rejoicing in this ever-new ancient ritual of Life. Alleluia!

Activities for Palm Sunday

Holy Week

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