What is Holy Week and why are celebrated? What is its relevance with the Church tradition, and its Scriptural basis?
As a kid, I grew up in a Catholic household. My parents, both devout Catholics, would warn me against going out, or disobeying them because evil things are aboard as God is currently dead and have not yet resurrected.
The concept of anniversaries were something new to me.
But then, as I grew up, I learned more about the nuances and details of the Church’s celebrations, and one of that is Holy Week.
THE PASCHAL TRIDUUM
According to Christianity.com, Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday, which celebrates the entry of Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem, as he was welcomed by a throng bearing palm fronds.
But the peak of the Holy Week starts with the Easter Triddum, with the Vigil of Holy Thursday, marking the end of the 40 days of Lent. This also marks the three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – from Holy Thursday, to Good Friday and finally Easter Sunday.
Holy Thursday is marked with the commemoration of the Last Supper, where Jesus dined with his Apostles, and singled out Judas Iscariot as the one who would betray him. This is also the day that Judas handed over Jesus to the Sanhedrin, betraying him with a kiss.
Good Friday is marked by the arrest, trial, Crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus.
Easter Sunday, which is considered as the most important celebration of the Church, marks the resurrection of Christ.
FASTING AND ABSTINENCE
What of fasting and abstinence? Why are Christians discouraged from eating meat?
Lenten Season is generally the time for fasting and abstinence.
According to Catholic.org, Lent “is a time of penance and atonement for sin in preparation for the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord”
This practice has its roots in the Biblical story of Jesus where he fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights in preparation to begin his public ministry.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said members of the Roman Catholic Church, the norms on fasting are obligatory from age 18 until age 59.
When fasting, a person is permitted to eat one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal.
The norms concerning abstinence from meat are binding upon members of the Latin Catholic Church from age 14 onwards.