What Happens During Holy Week?


Holy Week is the last week of Lent.

Holy Week Colors:
In most churches, the decorations are red to symbolize the blood of martyrdom. Some churches remove all decorations on Good Friday, veiling anything that can’t be removed in black or purple.

Holy water is also removed from the fonts in churches on Good Friday and Holy Saturday in preparation for the blessing of the water at the Easter Vigil. This removal also corresponds to those days on which the Eucharist is not celebrated. There is a service but not a mass.

Holy Week Dates:

• Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday), the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Also marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday. Jesus traveled to Jerusalem knowing that this journey would end in his sacrificial death on the cross for the sins of all mankind. 

• Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), the institution of Communion and the betrayal by Judas.

• Good Friday, the arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus Christ. Friday is Preparation Day, the Passover. The disciples arranged for the Passover meal, which took place after sundown on Thursday.

• Holy Saturday, the Sabbath on which Jesus rested in the grave. Jesus rested in the tomb on the Sabbath. According to Matthew 28:1, Mark 16:1-3, and Luke 23:56-24:3, the day before the Resurrection was a Sabbath. This is the second day that Jesus lay in the tomb.

The time from sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter Day is also known as the Triduum, which is Latin for “three days.”

Biblical Foundations:
• Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all inform us that the Last Supper and the Crucifixion took place on Preparation Day.
• Mark and John inform us that the next day, the day after the Crucifixion, was the Sabbath.
• Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John inform us that the Resurrection took place on the first day of the week.
• Matthew, Mark, and Luke inform us that the day before the Resurrection was the Sabbath, and John heavily implies it.

Have a Blessed Holy Week!