Holy Week is the most sacred season of the year in the Catholic Church calendar.
It begins with Palm Sunday which is also known as Passion Sunday on March 24, 2013.
Palm Sunday is the celebration of Jesus’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcome by crowds waving palms.
After that comes the ‘Easter Triduum’. A ‘triduum’ is a span of three days usually accompanying a church festival or holy days that are devoted to special prayer and observance.
The Easter Triduum consists of Holy or Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil or Sunday sometimes known as ‘Holy Saturday’.
Holy Thursday on March 28, commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.
It celebrates both the institution by Christ himself of the Eucharist and of the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood.
On Holy Thursday, the priest washes the feet of 12 men as a symbolic gesture of love, service and humility following Jesus washing the feet of Peter.
Following that is Good Friday, which commemorates the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ on the Cross.
Good Friday service is divided into there parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion.
During the veneration of the cross, the priest will unveil the covered cross three times until it is exposed.
This is followed by ‘veneration’ where the priests and parishioners came up one by one to kiss the cross.
Holy Saturday or Easter Vigil on 30 March, celebrates the Resurrection of Christ, and the liturgy had been hailed as the most beautiful liturgy in the Roman Catholic church.
It is rich in tradition and rites, which consists of four parts, Service of Light, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism and Liturgy of Eucharist
It is on Easter vigil that water is blessed for use throughout the year and where adults (new converts) are baptized and Catholics renew their baptismal vows.
Following Easter vigil, celebrated after sunset on Saturday, is Easter Sunday, as the name implies, celebrated on Sunday morning or evening.
One important significance of Easter Sunday, is the renewal of baptismal vows/promises by all those who had been baptised, which is followed by blessing from the new Holy Water from Easter Vigil.
Easter, celebrated on Saturday night and on Sunday, is the most important celebration in the Christian calendar.