Holy Week Days and What They Represent

April 19, 2011

For many people, this time of year is very sacred as people celebrate their religion. The Holy Week days leading up to Easter are very important to Christians and they have already begun. So in case you aren’t familiar, get all the deets on what this week’s all about below!

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Everything starts on Palm Sunday and ends on Holy Saturday, which is followed by the celebration of Easter Sunday. So now let’s see why each day is important and where it came from.

Palm Sunday happens the week before Easter and is a celebration of when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. People lined the streets and laid down or waved palm branches before him and sang songs. The reason this day is so significant is it shows outward commitment to God and challenges today’s believer to examine their own faith. Churches celebrate this day in many different way by either bringing in branches or wearing crosses with palm leaves on them.

The next day observed in Holy Week is Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. No this isn’t a Godfather joke, the word maundy is derived from the word for command. This is the symbolic day when the disciples had the Last Supper and Jesus washed their feet. This is how the Eucharist was established. That night was also when Judas betrayed Jesus. Today there are usually services on this day, and many times they celebrate by washing each others feet. See what some other cultures do in honor of this day here.

A day that I am sure many of you know is Good Friday. This day marks when Jesus was crucified on the cross. This and his resurrection are the most pivotal days in Christianity as he died to atone for all of the sins in the world. It is a day of mourning, which many people spend praying and reflecting on their lives. Others rejoice on this important day and many churches celebrate by doing re-enactments or plays.

The last official day is Holy Saturday. Easter vigil services take place as a remembrance to those who stood faithful waiting for Christ to return as he promised. Now a time of prayer outside churches is followed by bringing a single candle (the Paschal) into the building and having each member light their own candle, watching the light spread. It very symbolic and is celebrated similarly all over the world.

Though it is not technically part the the week, all these Holy Week days lead to the Easter Sunday. This is when people gather and celebrate the day Jesus’ body could not be found in the tomb and it was realized that he had risen. So now, even if Christianity is not your thing or it is, like me, and you weren’t sure of what all the days meant, now you know what is celebrated during this sacred time. Do you know of any other important days or celebrations during this time? Be sure to leave me your comments in the section below!

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