As a Christian, the most important week of the church year is Holy Week. This is the week that falls between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. There is celebration as Jesus heads into Jerusalem on Sunday, followed by intense sadness by Friday. True believers all know that the real celebration comes on Sunday when Christ is raised from the dead. Christians are a people of the risen Lord and so this tie in the liturgical year is more important than any other time.
As with all parts of life, Holy Week makes me think of music. There’s that Kenny Chesney song, “I Go Back,” that says “We all have a song that somehow stamped our lives” and I think that times in our lives all have different songs. Advent finds me wanting to hear the soundtrack to Godspell. Lent, and Holy Week in particular, scream out for me to play the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar. And so I did. I am going to find the original online and stream it this week if I can find time.
As the week approaches, the church will celebrate Holy (in the Anglican church sometimes called Maundy) Thursday. This celebration is a commemoration of the Last Supper and the birth of the Eucharist. I love this Mass. It may be my favorite Mass all year.
Good Friday is the one day in the liturgical year a Catholic priest does not celebrate the Eucharist. A communion service will be held along with veneration of the cross. There is no consecration of the hosts.
Then, the most impressive Mass of the year is the Vigil of Easter. While I have, as my children were growing up, gone to other Masses for Easter, this one is my favorite. At the Vigil, new adults, who have been going through the process of Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults, are welcomed into the church. The reason I may be drawn to this Mass is that 31 year ago this Easter season I became a Catholic.
I’m wishing all my Christian readers a blessed Holy Week. Happy Passover to my Jewish readers.