Today we begin the most important week in the liturgical year. We call it Holy Week. It begins with Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. We commemorate Jesus’ entry into the city of Jerusalem, the place of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection.
The Easter Triduum (meaning three days) begins Holy Thursday evening and concludes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday. These days provide liturgical celebrations that in turn are touching, tragic, and triumphant.
These sacred liturgies are not reenactments of the events of the first Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. Rather, through liturgical and sacramental rituals, they help us to be present to the sacred mysteries that have been handed down to us through the Christian millennia. They help us to delve into the “so what” question: what does Jesus’ death and resurrection mean for us today?
The Opening Prayer for Holy Thursday’s Mass gives us a good example of how our celebrations are to affect our lives: “O God, who have called us to participate in this most sacred Supper, in which your Only Begotten Son, when about to hand himself over to death, entrusted to the Church a sacrifice new for all eternity, the banquet of his love, grant, we pray, that we may draw from so great a mystery, the fullness of charity and of life.”
Come and enter into these holy days. Let the Risen Christ lead you deeper into what it means to follow him.