Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Holy Week: Passion (Palm) Sunday through Holy Saturday [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus] ^ | 2003 | Ann Ball

Posted on 04/16/2011 11:23:59 AM PDT by Salvation

Holy Week

Passion (Palm) Sunday through Holy Saturday.

Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and PracticesPassion Sunday, formerly called Palm Sunday, marks the start of Holy Week by recalling Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week of his life (see Matthew 21:1-11). A procession and other ceremonies commemorating the event were held in Jerusalem from the fourth century and were adopted by Rome by the ninth century. At that time, the blessing of palms for the occasion was introduced. Later, in the Middle Ages, a wooden statue of Christ sitting on a donkey, the whole image on wheels, was drawn in the center of the procession. These statues, known as Palmesel or “Palm Donkey,” may still be seen in a number of museums in European cities. Full liturgical observance includes the blessing of palms and a procession before the principal Mass of the day. The Passion — by Matthew, Mark, or Luke, depending on the year — is read during the Mass of this Sunday.

Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, commemorates the institution of the sacraments of Eucharist and holy orders, and features a foot-washing rite that commemorates Christ’s washing of the feet of the Apostles at the Last Supper. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper in the evening marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum. The term “Maundy” is derived from the Latin mandatum, the first words for the rite of foot-washing: “My commandment is: love one another as I have loved you.”

From the Latin for “three days,” the Triduum continues until Vespers (evening prayer) on Easter Sunday. The period recalls Christ’s institution of the sacraments of Eucharist and holy orders, his Passion and death, and his triumphant Resurrection from the dead.

Following the Mass on Holy Thursday, there is a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to a place of repose for adoration by the faithful. Usually at an earlier Mass of Chrism, bishops bless oils (of catechumens, of the sick, and sacred chrism) for use during the year.

Good Friday commemorates the Passion and death of Christ. The liturgy includes the reading of the Passion according to John, special prayers for the Church, civil rulers, and people of all ranks, the veneration of the cross, and a Communion service. The celebration takes place in the afternoon, usually at three o’clock, the hour that Christ is believed to have died on the cross. The Communion service, held in lieu of the sacrifice of the Mass, is known as the “Mass of the Presanctified.”

On Holy Saturday, the Sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated and Holy Communion may be given only as Viaticum. Since at least the fourth century, Christianity has marked Holy Week. After the time of the persecutions, Christian emperors of both the East and West issued various decrees forbidding amusements and games and directed that these days were to be spent free from worldly occupations and entirely devoted to religious exercises. Pardons were granted to those in prison, and many charges in court were dropped in honor of Christ’s Passion.

In the Middle Ages, all secular business was prohibited, and the time was spent in recollection and prayer. Often, kings and rulers secluded themselves in monasteries. During some eras, no servile work was allowed during the Triduum, and the faithful were to be present at all liturgies. In 1642, Pope Urban VIII, because of the changing conditions of social life, rescinded this obligation.

In most countries, real palms are unattainable for Passion Sunday, so a variety of other branches are used. Centuries ago, not only branches but flowers were blessed, and in some countries the day is called “Flower Sunday.” (The term Pascua Florida, which in Spain originally meant just Palm Sunday, was later applied to the entire festive season of Easter Week or Octave. The state of Florida received its name when Ponce de León first sighted the land on Easter Sunday of 1513 and named it in honor of the great feast.)

In central Europe, large clusters of plants interwoven with ribbons and flowers arefastened to a top of a wooden stick and are called palm bouquets. The main plant used, however, is the pussy willow bearing its catkin blossoms. In Latin countries and in the United States, palm leaves are often shaped into little crosses or other symbolic designs. The faithful reverently keep these in their homes during the year. This custom was originated by a suggestion in the ceremonial book for bishops that “little crosses of palm be attached to the boughs wherever true palms are not available in sufficient quantity.”

In the early Christian centuries, the bishop celebrated three Masses on Holy Thursday. The first, the Mass of the Penitents, was for the reconciliation of public sinners. The second, the Mass of Chrism, featured the blessing of holy oils and consecration of sacred chrism. The third commemorated the Last Supper of Christ and the institution of the Eucharist.

Today, after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the altar is stripped, and all decorations except those at the repository shrine are removed in symbolic representation of the body of Christ, which was stripped of its garments.

Good Friday has been celebrated from the earliest centuries as a day of mourning, fasting, and prayer. After the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday are concluded, the altar is stripped again, the tabernacle is left open, no lights are left burning in the sanctuary, and only the crucifix takes the place of honor in front of the empty tabernacle. On this day the cross is venerated by genuflection rather than a bow.

Traditionally, Holy Saturday has been a time of preparing at home for the Easter celebration.

This excerpt is from Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices by Ann Ball. Universal devotions and worldwide practices

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Orthodox Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; holyweek; triduum
Catholic/Orthodox Caucus
1 posted on 04/16/2011 11:24:03 AM PDT by Salvation
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Catholic Ping!

2 posted on 04/16/2011 11:27:18 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

This Palm Sunday I wear sneakers.

Our wonderful priest carries the Host under a canopy carried by the Knights in procession around the church grounds with the entire parish following singing, “Holy Lord We Praise Thy Name.” It’s a one mile walk!

3 posted on 04/16/2011 11:56:12 AM PDT by OpusatFR
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: OpusatFR
My parish does something similar - not nearly one mile though!

For the Tridentine High Mass, we have a lot of servers, a big choir, etc. We have a big procession down the street with The Blessed Host under a canopy and a large gilded type cross and a very large banner bearing the likeness of Christ.

Makes for an impressive show, to say the very least. ;)

4 posted on 04/16/2011 1:05:45 PM PDT by Celtic Cross (Some minds are like cement; thoroughly mixed up and permanently set...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Celtic Cross; OpusatFR
Holy Week: Passion (Palm) Sunday through Holy Saturday [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
About Catholic Marriage: Five Suggestions for Holy Week [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]

The Days of Holy Week [Ecumenical]
Family Activities, Projects and Devotions for Experiencing Holy Week [Catholic/Orthodox Caucus]
[Why I Am Catholic]: Lent And Holy Week (A Primer) [Catholic Caucus]
As We Approach Holy Week
The Church Tells Us the Story of God
Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
Tuesday of Holy Week
Spy Wednesday (also Holy Wednesday of Holy Week)
Holy Week and the Priesthood
A week with the Lord [Reflections on Passion Sunday and Holy Week]

The history of Passiontide and Holy Week
The Week That Changed The World [EWTN Program: "No One Comes To the Father, But Through Me" Jn 14:6]
Why is this Week Called Holy? Take This Cup
Just In Time for Holy Week ... Gay Jesus
Holy Week With the Pope … and Jesus
This Holy Week and the Rest of Your Life (Fr. Corapi on dour situation in the world)
Catholic Caucus: Holy Week and the Rest of Your Life
Holy Week is most important week of the year, Pope says
Tenebrae [Liturgy]

Now it begins… Now it all Begins: Holy Week
Spy Wednesday
Holy Week
Holy Week in the Catholic Tradition
Holy Saturday and the Easter Vigil
Good Friday
Holy Thursday

Holy Week and the Triduum
Passiontide and Holy Week
Why Do We Call it the Passion?
The Easter Triduum: Entering into the Paschal Mystery
Cardinal Arinze on How to Live Holy Week - Urges Spirit of Faith and Gratitude
We Will Relive the Passion, Death and Resurrection [Audience with Pope Benedict XVI]
Holy Week Recovers Celebration of Penance (at St. Peter's Basilica) - photos!
History of Holy Week (rooted in the 2nd century)
Holy Week Starts Today - Hosanna to the King of Kings!
The Meaning of Holy Week

5 posted on 04/16/2011 3:04:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: OpusatFR

Sounds wonderful. I love that hymn.

6 posted on 04/18/2011 5:29:30 PM PDT by Bigg Red (Palin in 2012)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson