What is Holy Week?
Holy Week is the last seven days of Lent. It begins with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter Sunday.
Why is it important?
For the Catholic Church, it is a key week since it commemorates the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
What is the significance of each day?
On Palm Sunday, Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem is remembered. Catholics can participate in processions with blessed olive branches or palms.
Some of those carried by Pope Francis at the Vatican come from Elche, a city in southern Spain.
From Holy Monday to Wednesday there are no special events.
Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus’ Last Supper, in which He instituted the sacraments of the Eucharist and holy orders. During the Mass celebrated on this day, the priest practices the rite of foot washing.
On Good Friday we meet for the Solemn Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, at which the passion narrative is read, and the cross unveiled and venerated.
On Holy Saturday the church is actually closed, until later that night, when the Easter Vigil is celebrated, this is the greatest and most solemn liturgy of the Church’s year at which Jesus rises from the dead. It is common that new Christians are baptized into the Catholic faith on this night.
Finally, the Resurrection of Christ is remembered on Easter Sunday and is celebrated at Mass that morning.