Holy Week (Latin: Hebdomas Sancta or Hebdomas Maior, "Greater Week";
Greek: Ἁγία καὶ Μεγάλη Ἑβδομάς, Hagia kai
Megale Hebdomas, "Holy and Great Week") in
Christianity is the week
just before Easter. In the West, it is also the last week of Lent, and
includes Palm Sunday,
Holy Wednesday (Spy Wednesday), Maundy Thursday
Good Friday (Holy Friday), and Holy Saturday.
It does not include
Easter Sunday, which begins the season of
Eastertide, although traditions observing the
Easter Triduum may
overlap or displace part of
Holy Week or
Easter itself within that
additional liturgical period.
Holy Week in Western Christianity
Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday)
Holy Monday to Spy Wednesday
2.4 Maundy Thursday
2.5 Good Friday
Holy Saturday (Black Saturday)
Holy Week observances
Mexico and United States: Yaqui Indians
Holy Week in Eastern Christianity
3.1 Eastern Orthodoxy
3.1.1 Great and
Holy Monday through Wednesday
3.1.2 Great and Holy Thursday
3.1.3 Great and Holy Friday
3.1.4 Great and Holy Saturday
3.2 Coptic Orthodox Church
3.3 Eastern Catholic Churches
4 Related observances
4.1 Friday of Sorrows
6 External links
Holy Week in the
Christian year is the week immediately before Easter.
The earliest allusion to the custom of marking this week as a whole
with special observances is to be found in the Apostolical
Constitutions (v. 18, 19), dating from the latter half of the 3rd
century and 4th century. In this text, abstinence from flesh is
commanded for all the days, while for the Friday and Saturday an
absolute fast is commanded. Dionysius Alexandrinus in his canonical
epistle (AD 260), refers to the 91 fasting days implying that the
observance of them had already become an established usage in his
There is some doubt about the genuineness of an ordinance attributed
to Roman Emperor Constantine, in which abstinence from public business
was enforced for the seven days immediately preceding
and also for the seven which followed it. The Codex Theodosianus,
however, is explicit in ordering that all actions at law should cease,
and the doors of all courts of law be closed during those 15 days (1.
ii. tit. viii.).
Of the particular days of the "great week" the earliest to emerge into
special prominence was naturally Good Friday. Next came the Sabbatum
Magnum ("Great Sabbath", i.e.,
Holy Saturday or
Easter Eve) with its
vigil, which in the early church was associated with an expectation
that the second advent would occur on an
Other writings that refer to related traditions of the early Church
include, most notably, The Pilgrimage of Etheria (also known as The
Pilgrimage of Egeria), which details the whole observance of Holy Week
at that time.
Today, in the Western Christian Church, among Lutherans, Anglicans,
Methodists, Presbyterians and Catholics, the liturgies used for Holy
Week are nearly identical.
In the Moravian Church, the
Holy Week services (Passion Week) are
extensive, as the Congregation follows the life of Christ through His
final week in daily services dedicated to readings from a harmony of
Gospel stories, responding to the actions in hymns, prayers and
litanies, beginning on the eve of
Palm Sunday and culminating in the
Easter Morning or
Sunrise service begun by the Moravians in
Holy Week in Western Christianity
Palm Sunday (Passion Sunday)
Main article: Palm Sunday
Further information: Passion Sunday
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, which may also be known as Passion
Sunday in some denominations. Traditionally,
Palm Sunday commemorates
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem
Triumphal entry into Jerusalem described in all four canonical
gospels. As described in the accounts, Jesus's entry into Jerusalem
was noted by the crowds present who shouted praises and waved palm
branches. In the Roman Rite, before 1955 it was known simply as Palm
Sunday, and the preceding Sunday as Passion Sunday. From 1955 to 1971
it was called Second Sunday in
Passiontide or Palm Sunday. Among
Lutherans and Anglicans, the day is known as the Sunday of the
Passion: Palm Sunday.
In many liturgical denominations, to commemorate the Messiah's entry
Jerusalem to accomplish his paschal mystery, it is customary to
have a blessing of palm leaves (or other branches, for example olive
branches). The blessing ceremony includes the reading of a Gospel
account of how
Jesus rode into
Jerusalem humbly on a donkey,
reminiscent of a Davidic victory procession, and how people placed
palms on the ground in front of him. Immediately following this great
time of celebration over the entrance of
Jesus into Jerusalem, he
begins his journey to the cross. The blessing is thus followed by a
procession or solemn entrance into the church, with the participants
holding the blessed branches in their hands. The
Mass or service of
worship itself includes a reading of the Passion, the narrative of
Jesus' capture, sufferings and death, as recounted in one of the
Synoptic Gospels. (In the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite
celebrated according to the
Roman Missal of 1962, the Passion
narrative read on this day is always that of St. Matthew.)
Before the reform of the rite by
Pope Pius XII, the blessing of the
palms occurred inside the church within a service that followed the
general outline of a Mass, with Collect, Epistle and Gospel, as far as
the Sanctus. The palms were then blessed with five prayers, and a
procession went out of the church and on its return included a
ceremony for the reopening of the doors, which had meantime been shut.
After this the normal
Mass was celebrated.
Holy Monday to Spy Wednesday
The days between
Palm Sunday and
Holy Thursday are known as Holy
Monday, Holy Tuesday, and
Spy Wednesday (Holy Wednesday). The Gospel
accounts are not always clear or in agreement on the events which
occurred on these days, though there are traditional observances held
by some denominations to commemorate certain events from the last days
of Jesus' life. Among them
On Holy Monday, some observe the anointing of
Jesus at Bethany, an
event that in the
Gospel of John
Gospel of John occurred before the
Palm Sunday event
described in John 12:12-19. Other events which the Gospels tell of
which may have occurred on this day include cursing the fig tree and
the Cleansing of the Temple.
On Holy Tuesday, some observe Jesus' predictions of his own death, as
described in John 12:20-36 and John 13:21-38. (In the extraordinary
form of the Roman rite, the Passion according to St. Mark is read
On Spy Wednesday, some observe the story of Judas arranging his
Jesus with the high priests. For this reason, the day
is sometimes called Spy Wednesday. (In the extraordinary form of
the Roman Rite, the Passion according to St. Luke is read instead.)
Other events connected with this date include the events at the house
of Simon the Leper, especially the anointing of
Jesus by Mary of
Bethany, the events of which directly preceded the betrayal by Judas
to the Sanhedrin.
Chrism Mass, whose texts the
Roman Missal now gives under Holy
Thursday, but before the Paschal Triduum, which begins that evening,
may be brought forward to one of these days, to facilitate
participation by as many as possible of the clergy of the diocese
together with the bishop. This
Mass was not included in editions of
Roman Missal before the time of
Pope Pius XII. In this Mass, the
bishop blesses separate oils for the sick (used in
Anointing of the
Sick), for catechumens (used in Baptism) and chrism (used in Baptism,
but especially in
Confirmation and Holy Orders, as well as in rites
such as the dedication of an altar and a church).
Main article: Tenebrae
Latin for "shadows" or "darkness") is celebrated within
Christianity on the evening before or early morning of Maundy
Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
Tenebrae is distinctive for
its gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and
psalms is chanted or recited.
Tenebrae services are celebrated by some
parishes of the
Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, of the Polish
National Catholic Church, of Anglicanism, of other
such as Lutheranism, and of
Western Rite Orthodoxy
Western Rite Orthodoxy within the Eastern
In the Catholic Church, "tenebrae" is the name given to the
celebration, with special ceremonies, of
Matins and Lauds, the first
two hours of the Liturgy of the Hours, of the last three days of Holy
Main article: Maundy Thursday
Mass of the Lord's Supper
Mass of the Lord's Supper and Stripping of the
Washing of Feet
Washing of Feet ceremony on
Holy Thursday in the Armenian Orthodox
On Maundy Thursday, the altar of this Methodist church was stripped
and the crucifix of this Methodist church was veiled in black for Good
Friday (black is the liturgical colour for
Good Friday in the United
Methodist Church). A wooden cross sits in front of the bare chancel
for the veneration of the cross ceremony, which occurs during the
Good Friday liturgy.
Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday) commemorates the Last
Supper, where Christ lays out the model for the
Eucharist or Holy
Communion. During the meal,
Jesus predicted the events that would
immediately follow, including his betrayal, the Denial of Peter, and
his death and resurrection. Events of the last supper play varying
roles in commemoration services depending on the denomination.
In the Catholic Church, on this day the private celebration of
forbidden. Thus, apart from the
Mass for the blessing of
the Holy Oils that the diocesan bishop may celebrate on the morning of
Holy Thursday, but also on some other day close to Easter, the only
Mass on this day is the evening
Mass of the Lord's Supper, which
inaugurates the period of three days, known as the
Good Friday (seen as beginning with the service of the
Holy Saturday and
Easter Sunday up to evening
prayer on that day.
Mass of the Lord's Supper
Mass of the Lord's Supper commemorates the
Last Supper of Jesus
with his Twelve Apostles, "the institution of the Eucharist, the
institution of the priesthood, and the commandment of brotherly love
Jesus gave after washing the feet of his disciples."
All the bells of the church, including altar bells, may be rung during
Gloria in Excelsis Deo
Gloria in Excelsis Deo of the
Mass (the Gloria is not
traditionally sung on Sundays in Lent). The bells then fall silent and
the organ and other musical instruments may be used only to support
the singing until the Gloria at the
Easter Vigil. In some
countries, children are sometimes told: "The bells have flown to
Roman Missal recommends that, if considered pastorally
appropriate, the priest should, immediately after the homily,
celebrate the rite of washing the feet of an unspecified number of
men, customarily twelve, recalling the number of the Apostles.
Catholic Church and (optionally) in the Anglican Church, a
sufficient number of hosts are consecrated for use also in the Good
Friday service, and at the conclusion the
Blessed Sacrament is carried
in procession to a place of reposition away from the main body of the
church, which, if it involves an altar, is often called an "altar of
repose". In some places, notably the
Philippines and Malta,
Catholics will travel from church to church praying at each church's
altar of repose in a practice called "Visita Iglesia" or Seven
In Methodist and
Lutheran churches, the altar is covered with black,
if the altar cloths have not been removed. Methodist custom
holds that apart from depictions of the Stations of the Cross, other
images (such as the altar cross) continue the Lenten habitude of being
veiled. At the conclusion of the
Maundy Thursday liturgy in
Lutheran Churches, the "lectern and pulpit are [also] left bare until
Easter to symbolize the humiliation and barrenness of the cross."
In the Catholic Church, the altars of the church (except the one used
for altar of repose) are later stripped quite bare and, to the extent
possible, crosses are removed from the church or veiled In the
pre-Vatican II rite, crucifixes and statues are covered with violet
covers during Passiontide, but the crucifix covers can be white
instead of violet on Maundy Thursday).
Protestant churches practice the foot washing (Maundy) ceremony
on Maundy Thursday. For others, it may be the only time in the year
Holy Communion is celebrated.
Main article: Good Friday
Good Friday procession in Ecuador. The man is shown holding a cross,
representing the one upon which
Jesus was crucified.
Good Friday Procession in Valladolid,
Spain outside of a
traditional procession of the "Barette", showing the passion of
Good Friday in Messina, Sicily
Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of
Jesus and his subsequent
death. Commemorations of often solemn and mournful, many denominations
Good Friday to perform the Stations of the Cross, or other
commemorations of the Passion, either as a self-guided time of
reflection and veneration or as a procession of statues or images of
The evening liturgical celebration on
Holy Thursday begins the first
of the three days of the
Easter Triduum, which continues in an
atmosphere of liturgical mourning throughout the next day in spite of
the name "Good" given in English to this Friday.
For Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Reformed and Anglican Christians,
Good Friday is widely observed as a fast day. A Handbook for the
Lent recommends the
Lutheran guideline to "Fast on Ash
Good Friday with only one simple meal during the day,
usually without meat". Western
Catholic Church practice is to have
only one full meal with, if needed, two small snacks that together do
not make a full meal. The Anglican Communion defines fasting more
generically as: "The amount of food eaten is reduced."
In some countries, such as Malta, Philippines, Italy, and Spain
processions with statues representing the Passion of Christ are held.
The Church mourns for Christ's death, reveres the Cross, and marvels
at his life for his obedience until death.
In the Catholic Church, the only sacraments celebrated are Penance and
Anointing of the Sick. While there is no celebration of the Eucharist,
Holy Communion is distributed to the faithful only in the Service of
the Passion of the Lord, but can be taken at any hour to the sick who
are unable to attend this service.
Outside the afternoon liturgical celebration, the altar remains
completely bare in Catholic churches, without altar cloth,
candlesticks, or cross. In the
Lutheran and Methodist churches, the
altar is usually draped in black.
It is customary to empty the holy water fonts in preparation for the
blessing of the water at the
The Celebration of the Passion of the Lord takes place in the
afternoon, ideally at three o'clock, but for pastoral reasons a later
hour may be chosen.
Since 1970, in the
Catholic Church the colour of the vestments is red.
Lutheran Church, Methodist Church, and Presbyterian Church
continue to use black, as was the practice in the Catholic Church
before 1970. If a bishop celebrates, he wears a plain mitre.
Roman Rite liturgy consists of three parts: the Liturgy of the
Word, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.
Liturgy of the Word
Prostration of the celebrant before the altar.
The readings from
Isaiah 53 (about the Suffering Servant) and the
Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews are read.
The Passion narrative of the
Gospel of John
Gospel of John is sung or read, often
divided between more than one singer or reader.
General Intercessions: The congregation prays for the Church, the
Pope, the Jews, non-Christians, unbelievers and others.
Veneration of the Cross: A crucifix is solemnly unveiled before the
congregation. The people venerate it on their knees. During this part,
the "Reproaches" are often sung.
Communion service: Hosts consecrated at the
Mass of the previous day
are distributed to the people. (Before the reform of
Pope Pius XII,
only the priest received Communion in the framework of what was called
Mass of the Presanctified", which included the usual Offertory
prayers, with the placing of wine in the chalice, but which omitted
the Canon of the Mass.) The
Good Friday service is not a Mass, and
in fact, celebration of Catholic
Good Friday is forbidden. It
Eucharist consecrated the evening before (Holy Thursday) that
Even if music is used in the Liturgy, it is not used to open and close
the Liturgy, nor is there a formal recessional (closing procession).
The solemnity and somberness of the occasion has encouraged the
persistence over the centuries of liturgical forms without substantial
It was once customary in some countries, especially England, to place
a veiled monstrance with the
Blessed Sacrament or a cross in a Holy
If crucifixes were covered starting with the next to last Sunday in
Lent, they are unveiled without ceremony after the Good Friday
In some parishes of the Anglican Church, Catholic Church, and Lutheran
Church, the "Three Hours Devotion" is observed. This traditionally
consists of a series of sermons, interspersed with singing, one on
each of the Seven Last Words from the Cross, together with an
introduction and a conclusion.
Another pious exercise carried out on
Good Friday is that of the
Stations of the Cross, either within the church or outside. The
celebration at the
Colosseum with participation by the
Pope has become
a traditional fixture widely covered by television.
Holy Saturday (Black Saturday)
Main article: Holy Saturday
Holy Saturday is the day between the crucifixion of
Jesus and his
resurrection. As the Sabbath day, the
Gospel accounts all note that
Jesus was hurriedly buried in a cave tomb after his crucifixion, with
the intent to finish proper embalming and burial ceremonies on Sunday,
after the Sabbath had ended, as the
Sabbath day prohibitions would
have prevented observant Jews from completing a proper burial. While
daytime services or commemorations of the day are rare in the Western
tradition, after sundown on
Holy Saturday is the traditional time for
In the Catholic tradition,
Mass is not celebrated on what is
liturgically Holy Saturday. The celebration of
Easter begins after
sundown on what, though still Saturday in the civil calendar, is
Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord's tomb in prayer and
fasting, meditating on his Passion and Death and on his Descent into
Hell, and awaiting his Resurrection.
The Church abstains from the Sacrifice of the Mass, with the sacred
table left bare, until after the solemn Vigil, that is, the
anticipation by night of the Resurrection, when the time comes for
paschal joys, the abundance of which overflows to occupy fifty
In some Anglican churches, including the Episcopal Church in the
United States, there is provision for a simple liturgy of the word
with readings commemorating the burial of Christ.
The tabernacle is left empty and open. The lamp or candle usually
situated next to the tabernacle denoting the Presence of Christ is put
out, and the remaining Eucharistic Hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday
are kept elsewhere, usually the sacristy, with a lamp or candle
burning before it, so that, in cases of the danger of death, they may
be given as viaticum.
Lutheran deacon holding the
Paschal candle during the
The name of the
Easter Vigil, even if the vigil is held on what on the
civil calendar is still Saturday, indicates that liturgically it is
already Easter, no longer part of Holy Week, but still part of the
In the Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian traditions, the
Easter Vigil, one of the longest and most solemn of liturgical
services, lasts up to three or four hours, consists of four
The Service of Light
The Liturgy of the Word
The Liturgy of Baptism: The sacraments of
new members of the Church and the Renewal of Baptismal Promises by the
The Liturgy begins after sundown on
Holy Saturday as the crowd gathers
inside the unlit church. In the darkness (often in a side chapel of
the church building or, preferably, outside the church), a new fire is
kindled and blessed by the priest. This new fire symbolizes the light
of salvation and hope that God brought into the world through Christ's
Resurrection, dispelling the darkness of sin and death. From this fire
is lit the Paschal candle, symbolizing the Light of Christ. This
Paschal candle will be used throughout the season of Easter, remaining
in the sanctuary of the Church or near the lectern, and throughout the
coming year at baptisms and funerals, reminding all that Christ is
"light and life."
Candles lit for the
Heiligenkreuz Abbey in Austria
The candles of those present are lit from the Paschal candle. As this
symbolic "Light of Christ" spreads throughout those gathered, the
darkness is decreased. A deacon, or the priest if there is no deacon,
carries the Paschal Candle at the head of the entrance procession and,
at three points, stops and chants the proclamation "The Light of
Easter 2011, the official English text was "Christ our
Light"), to which the people respond "Thanks be to God." Once the
procession concludes with the singing of the third proclamation, the
lights throughout the church are lit, except for the altar candles.
Then the deacon or a cantor chants the
Exultet (also called the
Easter Proclamation"), After that, the people put aside their candles
and sit down for the Liturgy of the Word.
The Liturgy of the Word includes between three and seven readings from
the Old Testament, followed by two from the New (an Epistle and a
Old Testament readings must include the account in Exodus
14 of the crossing of the Red Sea, seen as an antitype of baptism and
Christian salvation. Each
Old Testament reading is followed by a psalm
or canticle (such as Exodus 15:1-18 and a prayer relating what has
been read to the Mystery of Christ. After the
Old Testament readings
conclude, the Gloria in excelsis Deo, which has been suspended during
Lent, is intoned and bells are rung
A reading from the
Epistle to the Romans
Epistle to the Romans is proclaimed. The Alleluia
is sung for the first time since the beginning of Lent. The
Resurrection then follows, along with a homily.
After the conclusion of the Liturgy of the Word, the water of the
baptismal font is blessed and any catechumens or candidates for full
communion are initiated into the church, by baptism and/or
confirmation. After the celebration of these sacraments of initiation,
the congregation renews their baptismal vows and receive the
sprinkling of baptismal water. The general intercessions follow.
After the Liturgy of Baptism, the Liturgy of the
as usual. This is the first
Easter Day. During the Eucharist,
the newly baptised receive
Holy Communion for the first time.
According to the rubrics of the Missal, the
Eucharist should finish
Main article: Easter
Easter Sunday, which immediately follows
Holy Week and begins with the
Easter Vigil, is the great feast day and apogee of the Christian
liturgical year: on this day the
Resurrection of Jesus
Resurrection of Jesus Christ is
celebrated. It is the first day of the new season of the Great Fifty
Days, or Eastertide, which runs from
Easter Sunday to Pentecost
Resurrection of Christ on
Easter Sunday is the main reason
why Christians keep Sunday as the primary day of religious observance.
Holy Week observances
Cities famous for their
Holy Week processions include:
Holy Week procession
Holy Week procession in Livingston, Guatemala
Holy Monday Procession in Lima, Peru
Santa Cruz de Mompox
San Rafael de Oreamuno
Holy Week processions in Guatemala
Holy Week in Mexico
Naga, Camarines Sur
San Pablo, Laguna
Santa Rita, Pampanga
Tacarigua de Mamporal
Villa de Cura
A church in Florianópolis, Brazil, preparated for the Good Friday
Holy Week has developed into one of Brazil's main symbols of community
identity, more specifically in the southern town of Campanha. The
Holy Week begins on the Monday evening with the Procession of
the Deposit. The figure of Our Lord of the Stations, representing the
Jesus carrying the cross, is brought from the church in
a large black box and displayed in the main square. Then it is
solemnly taken to the church following a band and a procession of
people. Outside the church, a sermon is delivered on the
of Jesus' death and resurrection. After the sermon, a choir inside the
open doors of the church sings the Miserere by Manoel Dias de
Oliveria, while the black box is brought inside the church, and people
come in to kiss the human-sized figure of Christ. Processions on
Tuesday and Wednesday stop at different chapels at each of which a
large painting portrays episodes of the
Way of the Cross
Way of the Cross and a related
hymn is sung at each. On Thursday morning the
celebrated, with a blessing of the oils.
Good Friday afternoon
ceremonies are followed by the week's main spectacle of the Taking
Down from the Cross in front of the cathedral followed by the Funeral
Procession of Our Dead Lord. The drama shows Christ being taken from
the cross and placed in a coffin, which is then taken around to the
accompaniment of the "Song of Veronica". On Saturday morning a drama
is performed by the youth. The following night, the Paschal
celebrated, and the streets are transformed into a beautiful array of
intricate, colorful carpets to prepare for the following day. Easter
Sunday begins before sunrise with the singing of the choir and band
performances to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Bells and
fireworks are followed by a
Mass that ends with the "Hallelujah
Holy Week in
Guatemala incorporates processions with images of saints
carried on huge wooden platforms. The heavy andas are held by the
locals, both men and women, who are frequently in purple robes. The
procession is led by a man holding a container of incense accompanied
by a small horn and flute band. Intricate carpets (alfombras) line the
streets during the week’s celebration.
Easter processions begin at
sunrise and everyone comes to join the festivities.
In Amatenango, the figure of Judas, who betrayed Christ has been the
main point of focus during the Mayan Holy Week. The priest calls Judas
the “killer of Christ”. The figure used to be beaten after the
Crucifixion performance on Good Friday, but is now treated more
Addolorata procession, Polistena, Italy
Holy Week is also observed in parts of Southern Italy, notably Sicily.
The most famous is the
Holy Week of Trapani, culminating in the
Processione dei Misteri di
Trapani or simply the Misteri di Trapani
(in English the Procession of the Mysteries of
Trapani or the
Mysteries of Trapani), a day-long passion procession featuring twenty
floats of lifelike wood, canvas and glue sculptures of individual
scenes of the events of the Passion.
The Misteri are amongst the oldest continuously running religious
events in Europe, having been played every
Good Friday since before
Easter of 1612, and running for at least 16 continuous hours, but
occasionally well beyond the 24 hours; they are the longest religious
Sicily and in Italy. Similar but smaller or shorter
passion processions are held in many other Sicilian cities, like Erice
and Caltanissetta, but also in various Southern Italian cities, like
Salerno and Taranto.
Holy Week in Malta
Holy Week commemorations reach their paramount on
Good Friday as
Catholic Church celebrates the passion of Jesus. Solemn
celebrations take place in all churches together with processions in
different villages around
Malta and Gozo. During the celebration, the
narrative of the passion is read in some localities. The Cross follows
a significant Way of Jesus.
Good Friday processions take place in
Birgu, Bormla, Għaxaq, Luqa, Mosta, Naxxar, Paola, Qormi, Rabat,
Senglea, Valletta, Żebbuġ and Żejtun. Processions in
Gozo will be
in Nadur, Victoria,
Xagħra Xewkija, and Żebbuġ.
Mexico and United States: Yaqui Indians
Holy Week is both ritualistic and theatrical in its
celebrations. The major event of the Yaqui Indians during Holy Week
occurs on Wednesday evening in which people arrive at the church on
horseback and begin to crawl and dance naked on the floor. Light
begins to go out and people beguin the whipping, screaming and crying
to the sound of ceremonial music of sacrifice. Children in white robes
with blue painted faces and a dark hooded figure, symbolizing the
betrayer of Christ, join the Thursday morning procession to the
church. There they promise to serve God for the next three or five
years, until their eyes start to bleed just like Christ's would. That
night, there is a symbolic search for
Jesus when the “Pharisees”
visit various crosses in the streets and capture the “old man”
(symbolic Jesus). A solemn atmosphere arises on Friday when a member
of the church who volunteers to represent
Jesus is beaten and buried
for two days. On Saturday, an image of Jesus’ betrayer, Judas, is
detained, as many people gather to watch the celebration. Sunday is a
much-anticipated celebration of Christ’s resurrection filled with
beautiful flowers and fireworks, while the volunteer rises from where
he was buried. A dance drama is performed enacting evil being defeated
Holy Week in the Philippines
In the predominantly Catholic Philippines,
Maundy Thursday and Good
Friday are national holidays; work is suspended in government offices
and private businesses. Most stores are closed and most people in the
cities return to their home provinces to commemorate
Holy Week in
their home town.
Holy Week is commemorated with street processions featuring wheeled
carrozas or floats carrying various icons, the Way of the Cross, and a
Passion play called the Senákulo. In some communities (most famously
in San Fernando, Pampanga), the processions include devotees who
self-flagellate and sometimes even have themselves nailed to crosses
as expressions of penance. After 15:00 PHT on
Good Friday (the time at
Jesus is traditionally believed to have died), noise is
discouraged, many radio stations and television stations close down
(some broadcast religious programming, with non-Catholic owned
stations continuing broadcast), and the faithful are urged to keep a
solemn and prayerful disposition through to
Mass on Palm Sunday, Catholics carry "palaspás" or palm leaves to
be blessed by the priest. Many Filipinos bring home the palm leaves
Mass and place these above their front doors or their
windows, believing that doing so can ward off evil spirits. Holy
Monday marks the beginning of the Pabasa (Tagalog, "reading"), the
marathon chanting of the Pasyón, a poem narrating Jesus' life and
death. The chanting, which continues day and night without
interruption, lasts as long as two straight days.
One of the most important
Holy Week traditions in the
the Visita Iglesia (Spanish for "church visit"). On Maundy
Thursday, the faithful visit seven churches to pray the Stations of
the Cross, and in the evenings, pray in front of each church's Altar
Easter is also celebrated on Maundy Thursday,
usually including a reenactment of the
Washing of the Feet
Washing of the Feet of the
Mass is followed by the procession of the Blessed
Sacrament to be transferred to the
Altar of Repose.
Good Friday in the
Philippines is commemorated with street processions, the Way of the
Cross, the commemoration of Jesus'
Seven last words
Seven last words (Siete Palabras)
Passion play called the Sinakulo.
Easter Sunday is marked with joyous celebration, the first being the
dawn Salubong rite, wherein statues of
Jesus and Mary are brought in
procession together to meet, imagining the first reunion of
his mother Mary after Jesus' Resurrection. This is followed by the
Easter Mass. Most Catholic communities across the Philippines
practice this, though it is more popularly celebrated in the
provinces. The rite, originally called the encuentro, was
introduced by Spanish priests during the colonial era.
Holy Week in Spain
Holy week in Lorca, Spain
Cartagena, Cádiz, Málaga, Seville, Valladolid, Palencia, Jerez de la
Frontera, Zamora and León hold elaborate processions for Holy Week. A
tradition that dates from medieval times which has spread to other
cities in Andalusia, the "Semana Santa en Sevilla" is notable for
featuring the procession of "pasos", lifelike wood or plaster
sculptures of individual scenes of the events that happened between
Jesus' arrest and his burial, or images of the Virgin Mary showing
grief for the torture and killing of her son.
Málaga the lifelike wooden or plaster sculptures are called
"tronos" and they are carried through the streets by "costaleros" (
Translated literally as "sack men", because of the costal, a sack-like
cloth that they wear over their neck, to soften the burden). These
pasos and tronos are physically carried on their necks or "braceros"
(this name is popular in Leon). The paso can weigh up to five metric
tonnes. In front of them walk the penitentes, dressed in long purple
robes, often with pointed hats, followed by women in black carrying
candles for up to 11 hours. The pasos are set up and maintained by
hermandades and cofradías, religious brotherhoods that are common to
a specific area of the city, whose precede the paso dressed in Roman
military costumes or penitential robes.
Those members who wish to do so wear these penitential robes with
conical hats, or capirotes, used to conceal the face of the wearer.
These "Nazarenos" or "Papones" (this word is typical from Leon) carry
processional candles, may walk the city streets barefoot, and may
carry shackles and chains in their feet as penance. A brass band,
marching band, a drum and bugle band, or in the cases of Cartagena and
Málaga a military band (such as that of the
Spanish Legion or other
military units) may accompany the group, playing funeral marches,
hymns or "marchas" written for the occasion.
Fifth responsory for Holy Saturday
Tomás Luis de Victoria's
O vos omnes
O vos omnes performed live by The Tudor
Problems playing this file? See media help.
Music for the
Holy Week includes Lamentations of Jeremiah the Prophet,
Responsories for Holy Week, Passion oratorios and
Tomás Luis de Victoria's Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae (1585) contains
settings of 37 texts for the
Catholic liturgy of the Holy Week. Carlo
Gesualdo's Responsoria et alia ad Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae
spectantia (1611) contains settings of all 27
(for matins of Maundy Thursday,
Good Friday and Holy Saturday), and of
a few other text for use in lauds of the Holy Week. Leçons de
ténèbres as composed by various French baroque composers were
usually intended for performance during the evening of Holy Wednesday,
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Holy Week in Eastern Christianity
In the Orthodox Church, the forty days of Great
Lent end on the Friday
before Palm Sunday. The two days that follow,
Lazarus Saturday and
Palm Sunday, form a transition to Holy Week, neither in
Lent nor in
Holy Week themselves, but in combination with
Holy Week containing the
continuing observances in preparation for Pascha (Easter), during
which the faithful continue to fast.
Lazarus Saturday commemorates Jesus' raising of Lazarus from the dead,
just before he went to
Jerusalem himself. The main themes anticipate
Resurrection of Jesus, showing him as master over death. On this
day wine and oil are allowed (and, in the Russian tradition, caviar),
lightening the fast by one degree.
Palm Sunday is considered one of
Great Feasts of the Lord, and is celebrated with fish, wine and
oil, the lightest degree of fasting, in observance of the festival.
Because it is a Great Feast of the Lord, the normal resurrectional
elements of the Sunday services are omitted. However, some of these
resurrectional elements are found in the
Lazarus Saturday service.
Holy Week is referred to as "Great and Holy Week", or "Passion
Week". Since the Orthodox liturgical day starts at sunset (as it
has from antiquity),
Holy Monday services begin Sunday evening, at the
normal timing for Monday
Vespers is the first service of the
day). However, during Holy Week, in most parishes, many service times
are advanced from six to twelve hours in time and celebrated in
anticipation, which permits more of the faithful to attend the most
prominent services. Thus, it is the matins service of Great Monday
that is on "Palm Sunday" evening in parish churches and often vespers
is in the morning.
Fasting during Great and
Holy Week is very strict, as in
Lent at a
minimum: dairy products and meat products are strictly forbidden, and
on most days, no alcoholic beverages are permitted and no oil is used
in cooking. Holy Friday and
Holy Saturday especially may exceed Lenten
norms. Those who can, including monastics, observe them as days of
abstention, meaning that nothing is eaten on those days. However,
fasting is always adjusted to the needs of the individual, and those
who are very young, ill or elderly are not expected to fast as
strictly. Those who are able may receive the blessing of their
spiritual father to observe an even stricter fast, whereby they eat
only two meals that week: one on Wednesday night and one after Divine
Liturgy on Thursday.
Holy Monday through Wednesday
Main articles: Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday, and Holy Wednesday
Icon of Christ the Bridegroom, sitting above the star at
the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem
A new liturgical day beginning at sunset, the first service of each
day is vespers at which stichera are chanted elaborating the theme of
the new day.
These days' Orthros services (which in parishes is performed the
previous night) are often referred to as the "Bridegroom Prayer",
because of their theme of Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church, a
theme expressed in the troparion that is solemnly chanted during them.
On these days, an icon of the "Bridegroom" is placed on an analogion
in the center of the temple, portraying
Jesus wearing the purple robe
of mockery and crowned with a crown of thorns (see Instruments of the
The same theme is repeated in the exapostilarion, a hymn which occurs
near the end of the service. These services follow much the same
pattern as services on weekdays of Great Lent. The services are so
laid out that the entire
Psalter (with the exception of
is chanted on the first three days of Holy Week. The canon that is
chanted on these days is a "Triode", i.e., composed of three odes
instead of the usual nine, as is in other weekday services in the
Towards the end of the Tuesday evening Bridegroom service (Orthros for
Great and Holy Wednesday), the
Hymn of Kassiani is sung. The hymn,
(written in the 9th century by Kassia) tells of the woman who washed
Christ's feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee. Much of the hymn
is written from the perspective of the sinful woman:
O Lord, the woman who had fallen into many sins, sensing Your
Divinity, takes upon herself the duty of a myrrh-bearer. With
lamentations she brings you myrrh in anticipation of your entombment.
"Woe to me!" she cries, "for me night has become a frenzy of
licentiousness, a dark and moonless love of sin. Receive the fountain
of my tears, O You who gathers into clouds the waters of the sea.
Incline unto me, unto the sighings of my heart, O You who bowed the
heavens by your ineffable condescension. I will wash your immaculate
feet with kisses and dry them again with the tresses of my hair; those
very feet at whose sound Eve hid herself from in fear when she heard
You walking in Paradise in the twilight of the day. As for the
multitude of my sins and the depths of Your judgments, who can search
them out, O Savior of souls, my Savior? Do not disdain me Your
handmaiden, O You who are boundless in mercy."
On vespers at the end of Monday through Wednesday is a reading from
Gospel which sets forth the new day's theme and then the Divine
Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts may be celebrated.
The Byzantine musical composition expresses the poetry so strongly
that it leaves many people in a state of prayerful tears. The
last upwards of 25 minutes and is liturgically and musically a
highpoint of the entire year.
Great and Holy Thursday
Main article: Holy Thursday
An Orthodox icon of Christ washing the feet of the Apostles (16th
Pskov school of iconography)
In many churches, especially Greek Orthodox, a service of Anointing
(Holy Unction) is held on Wednesday evening, following the
Presanctified Liturgy. This is in commemoration of the anointing of
Jesus, and a preparation of the faithful to enter with Christ into his
death and Resurrection. Those who wish to receive
Holy Communion on
Great and Holy Thursday, are encouraged to receive the
Holy Mystery of
Orthros of Great and
Holy Thursday does not follow the format of Great
Lent (with the singular exception of chanting
Alleluia in place of God
is the Lord), but is celebrated as outside Lent, having a complete
canon. Also, beginning at this service there will be no more reading
of the psalter for the rest of Holy Week, with the exception of
kathisma XVII at Orthros of Great and Holy Saturday.
Divine Liturgy of the
Last Supper is held on the morning of Great and
Holy Thursday, combining
Vespers with the Liturgy of Saint Basil the
Great. There is a custom among some churches to place a simple white
linen cloth over the
Holy Table (altar) for this Liturgy, reminiscent
of the Last Supper. In cathedrals and monasteries it is customary for
the bishop or hegumen (abbot) to celebrate the Washing of Feet. When
it is necessary for an autocephalous church to consecrate more chrysm
the primate of that church will consecrate it at this Liturgy.
Holy Thursday is the only day during
Holy Week when those
observing the strict tradition will eat a cooked meal, though they
will not do so until after the dismissal of the Liturgy. At this meal
wine and oil are permitted, but the faithful still abstain from meat
and dairy products.
Great and Holy Friday
Main article: Good Friday
Matins of Great and Holy Friday is celebrated on the evening of Holy
Thursday. During this service, twelve
Matins Gospels are chanted, from
which this service derives its name of "
Matins of the Twelve Gospels".
Gospel lessons recount in chronological order the events from
Last Supper though the Crucifixion and burial of Jesus. At one
point, when we reach the first
Gospel which speaks of the Crucifixion,
there is a custom for the priest to bring out a large cross with an
icon the crucified Christ attached to it, and places it in the center
of the nave for all the faithful to venerate. This cross will remain
in the center of the church until the bringing out of the
plashchanitza the next evening.
On Great and Holy Friday morning the
Royal Hours are served. These are
a solemn celebration of the
Little Hours with added hymns and
The Epitaphios (Plashchanitza) placed in the nave of the church for
the faithful to venerate. The
Gospel Book rests in the center.
Vespers of Great and Holy Friday (
Vespers of the Deposition from the
Cross) is held in the morning or early afternoon of Great and Holy
Friday. The figure of Christ is taken down from the Cross, and a
richly embroidered cloth icon called the Epitaphios (Church Slavonic:
Plashchanitza) depicting Christ prepared for burial is laid in a
"Tomb" decorated with flowers. At the end of the service all come
forward to venerate the Epitaphios.
Compline of Great and Holy Friday contains a Canon of Lamentations of
Theotokos (Mother of God).
Great and Holy Saturday
Main article: Holy Saturday
Beginning of the epitaphios procession at Great Saturday Mattins
Matins of Great and
Holy Saturday is, in parish practice, held on
Friday evening. The service is known as the "Orthros of Lamentations
at the Tomb", because the majority of the service is composed of the
clergy and faithful gathered around the tomb, chanting the
"Lamentations" interspersed between the verses of
Kathisma XVII (Psalm
118). At a certain point the priest sprinkles the tomb with rose
petals and rose water. Near the end of the service, the Epitaphios is
carried in a candlelit procession around the outside of the church as
the faithful sing the Trisagion.
Vespers joined to the
Divine Liturgy is served on Great and Holy
Saturday, prescribed by the Liturgical books to be served in the
afternoon but often served in the morning. This is the Proti Anastasi
(First Resurrection) service, commemorating the Harrowing of Hell.
Just before the reading of the Gospel, the hangings and vestments and
changed from dark lenten colors to white, and the entire mood of the
service changes from mourning to joy. However, the faithful do not yet
greet one another with the Paschal kiss, since the
not yet been announced to the living.
If there are catechumens who are prepared for baptism they are
baptized and chrismated during the
Old Testament readings.
People receiving the Holy Light at
Easter from Father Diogenis at St
Orthodox Church Adelaide
On Saturday night, the Paschal
Vigil begins around 11:00 pm with the
chanting of the Midnight Office. Afterwards, all of the lighting in
the church is extinguished and all remain in silence and darkness
until the stroke of midnight. Then, the priest lights a single candle
from the eternal flame on the altar (which is never extinguished). The
light is spread from person to person until everyone holds a lighted
A procession then circles around the outside of the church, recreating
the journey of the
Myrrh Bearers as they journeyed to the Tomb of
Jesus on the first
Easter morning. The procession stops in front of
the closed doors of the church. The opening of these doors symbolized
the "rolling away of the stone" from the tomb by the angel, and all
enter the church joyfully singing the
Troparion of Pascha. Paschal
Orthros begins with an
Ektenia (litany) and the chanting of the
One of the highpoints is the sharing of the paschal kiss and the
reading of the Hieratikon (Catechetical
Homily of John Chrysostom) by
the priest. The
Divine Liturgy follows, and every Orthodox Christian
is encouraged to confess and receive
Holy Communion on this holiest
day of the year. A breakfast usually follows, sometimes lasting till
dawn. Slavs bring
Easter baskets filled with eggs, meat, butter, and
cheese—foods from which the faithful have abstained during Great
Lent—to be blessed by the priest which are then taken back home to
be shared by family and friends with joy.
On the afternoon of
Easter Day, a joyful service called "Agape
Vespers" is celebrated During this service the Great
chanted and a lesson from the Gospel is read in as many different
languages as possible, accompanied by the joyful ringing of bells.
Coptic Orthodox Church
The Coptic Orthodox Christians fast the
Lent for 55 days including the
Holy Week which they call Holy Paschal Week.
The Friday before
Palm Sunday is called "The Concluding Friday of
Great Lent". On this day a special service called "The Unction of the
Sick" is conducted. It consists of seven prayers and at the conclusion
of the prayers, the priest anoints each member of the congregation
with the holy oil.
The following day - the last Saturday before
Holy Week - is called
"Lazarus' Saturday". On this day the Coptic Church commemorates
Lazarus, the brother of
Martha and Mary of Bethany. This day is
related to the events of
Holy Week in that John 12 tells of a visit of
Jesus to Lazarus immediately before recounting the events of Palm
Since the liturgical day starts from the evening before a calendar
day, the prayers of
Palm Sunday begin on the evening of Lazarus'
Throughout Holy Week, a paschal service is conducted each evening,
starting on Sunday night (the eve of Monday), and every morning, up
until Easter. These paschal services take place in the middle of the
church, not on the altar, because
Jesus suffered and was crucified on
Golgotha, outside of Jerusalem. The altar is bared of all its
coverings and relics.
Each day service is divided into 5 "hours"; The First Hour, The Third
Hour, The Sixth Hour, The Ninth Hour, and The Eleventh Hour. Likewise,
each night service is also divided into the same five hours. However,
Good Friday has an extra hour added to it, that of The Twelfth Hour.
During each hour, one prophecy is read at the beginning, a hymn is
chanted twelve times, a psalm is sung in a sad tune, one passage from
a gospel is read, and an exposition concludes the hour. During the eve
of Friday, four gospel passages are read, and more prophecies are read
as well. From Tuesday night onward, the people do not greet each other
nor the priests, and do not even kiss the icons of saints in the
church, because it was with a kiss that Judas betrayed Jesus.
On Thursday of Holy Week, also called Covenant Thursday, a liturgy is
prayed and communion is given to symbolize the
Last Supper of Jesus.
Also, before the liturgy the priests wash the feet of the congregation
in imitation of
Jesus washing his disciples' feet.
Late Friday night until early Saturday morning is called Apocalypse
Night. During this night, another liturgy is prayed and the entire
Book of the Apocalypse
Book of the Apocalypse is read, to symbolize the Second Coming.
The series concludes with the
Easter liturgy on Saturday night,
followed by a gathering in the church where the participants can
celebrate the joy of the resurrection, eating together and ending
their long fast, and at which they are permitted once again to partake
of meat, fish, and dairy products.
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Catholic Churches'
Holy Week observances and customs are
generally the same as in the rites of the corresponding Eastern
Orthodox or Oriental
Orthodox Church or Assyrian Church of the East.
Friday of Sorrows
Main article: Friday of Sorrows
The religious processions that are part of the
Holy Week celebrations
in many countries begin two days before
Holy Week on what in those
countries is called Friday of Sorrows.
On the Friday before Holy Week, the
Roman Rite celebrated universally
from 1727 to 1969 a liturgical feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Celebration of this feast began in Germany but spread to many other
countries even before
Pope Benedict XIII made it a universal feast,
assigning it to the Friday before Palm Sunday. Another feast with the
same name was and still is celebrated in September. With his Code
of Rubrics of 1960,
Pope John XXIII reduced the feast on the Friday of
what was then called
Passion Week (the week before Holy Week) to the
level of a commemoration, and in 1969 the celebration was removed from
General Roman Calendar
General Roman Calendar as a duplicate of the September feast.
Observance of the calendar as it stood in 1962 is still permitted as
an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, and even where the calendar
as revised in 1969 is in use, some countries, such as Malta, have kept
it in their national calendars. In every country, the 2002 edition of
Roman Missal provides an alternative collect for this Friday:
O God, who in this season
give your Church the grace
to imitate devoutly the Blessed Virgin Mary
in contemplating the Passion of Christ,
grant, we pray, through her intercession,
that we may cling more firmly each day
to your Only Begotten Son
and come at last to the fullness of his grace.
Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua,
Guatemala and Peru, as well as in
Spain and the Philippines, this
Friday feast of
Our Lady of Sorrows
Our Lady of Sorrows is called Viernes de Dolores
(Friday of Sorrows). It is sometimes also referred to as "Council
Friday", because of the choice of John 11:47-54 as the
read in the Tridentine
Mass on that day (which is now read in slightly
expanded form on Saturday of the fifth week of Lent), which recounts
the meeting of the
Sanhedrin to discuss what to do with Jesus. Its
date is exactly a week before Good Friday.
The somber and often nocturnal commemoration with public processions
directs thoughts to the desolate emotional state of the Virgin Mary on
Black Saturday as prophesied by the Rabbi Simeon on the "seven
sorrows" that as an allegorical sword pierced her heart. She is
represented as worrying and grieving with Saint
Mary Magdalene for
Jesus; therefore the event is markedly similar to a mourning event
among the people.
^ Gally, Howard E. (25 January 1989). Ceremonies of the Eucharist.
Cowley Publications. p. 45. ISBN 9781461660521. In recent
decades there has been a revival of the ancient use of red (crimson or
Holy Week among both Episcopalians and Lutherans. The
Roman rite has restored the use of red only on
Palm Sunday and Good
^ a b Cooper, J.C. (23 October 2013). Dictionary of Christianity.
Routledge. p. 124. ISBN 9781134265466. Retrieved 25 April
2014. Holy Week. The last week in LENT. It begins on PALM SUNDAY; the
fourth day is called SPY WEDNESDAY; the fifth is MAUNDY THURSDAY; the
sixth is GOOD FRIDAY; and the last 'Holy Saturday', or the 'Great
^ Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham (1896). The Historic Notebook: With an
Appendix of Battles. J. B. Lippincott. p. 669. Retrieved 25 April
2014. The last seven days of this period constitute Holy Week. The
first day of
Holy Week is Palm Sunday, the fourth day is Spy
Wednesday, the fifth Maundy Thursday, the sixth Good Friday, and the
Holy Saturday or the Great Sabbath.
Apostolical Constitutions v. 18, 19
^ a b Ramshaw, Gail (2004). The Three-Day Feast: Maundy Thursday, Good
Friday, and Easter. Augsburg Books. p. 7.
ISBN 9780806651156. Retrieved 13 April 2014. Many Christians are
already familiar with the ancient, and now recently restored,
liturgies of the Three Days: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the
Vigil service of light, readings, baptism, and communion.
The worship resources published by the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in
America, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the
Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and the
Catholic Church include nearly
identical versions of these liturgies.
^ Bower, Peter C. (1 January 2003). The Companion to the Book of
Common Worship. Geneva Press. p. 111. ISBN 9780664502324.
Retrieved 13 April 2014. Presbyterians, Methodists, and Roman
Catholics call this day Passion/Palm Sunday; the United Church of
Christ calls it Palm/Passion Sunday; Lutherans and Episcopalians call
it The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday.
^ a b 1920 typical edition of the Roman Missal
^ John 12:1-11
^ Matthew 26:14-25
^ Holy Thursday: Number of Masses
^ General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 19
Holy Thursday Evening
Mass of the Lord's Supper, 45
^ Roman Missal, Thursday of the Lord's Supper, 7
^ The Anglican Service Book. Good Shepherd Press. 1991. p. 171.
ISBN 9780962995507. Sufficient bread and wine may be consecrated
on this day for the
Mass of the Presanctified
Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday. The
Sacrament is then taken to an altar of repose where the faithful are
asked to "watch and pray". The altar, symbol of Christ is stripped of
its vesture and the building is left bare for the solemnity of Good
^ Mueller, Ella Numrich (17 October 2008). Life in Germany During
World War II: From Padew in Galizien, Poland to America. p. 25.
ISBN 9781463466923. Retrieved 13 April 2014.
Good Friday was a
largely celebrated day for Lutherans. The church bells did not ring,
Jesus was dead, and the altar at the church was draped in
^ Duck, Ruth C. (2013). Worship for the Whole People of God: Vital
Worship for the 21st Century. Westminster John Knox Press.
p. 131. ISBN 9780664234270. Retrieved 13 April 2014. The
liturgical color is black-or no color if the paraments (altar cloths)
have been stripped.
^ Hickman, Hoyt L. (1 July 2011). United Methodist Altars: A Guide for
the Congregation (Revised Edition). Abingdon Press. p. 55.
^ Fakes, Dennis R. (1994). Exploring Our
Lutheran Liturgy. CSS
Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 9781556735967.
^ Thurston, Herbert (1913). "Holy Week". In Herbermann, Charles.
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 24
March 2018. Finally,
Maundy Thursday has from an early period been
distinguished by the service of the Maundy, or Washing of the Feet, in
memory of the preparation of Christ for the Last Supper, as also by
the stripping and washing of the altars
^ Ripley, George; Dana, Charles Anderson (1883). The American
Cyclopaedia: A Popular Dictionary for General Knowledge. D. Appleton
and Company. p. 101. The
Protestant Episcopal, Lutheran, and
Reformed churches, as well as many Methodists, observe the day by
fasting and special services.
^ Weitzel, Thomas L. (1978). "A Handbook for the Discipline of Lent"
Lutheran Church in America. Retrieved 17 March
Catechism as used by - The Church of the Province of Southern
Africa. The Anglican Communion.
Ash Wednesday and
Good Friday are Fast
Days, when the amount of food eaten is reduced.
^ Letter of the Congregation for Divine Worship, 14 March 2003
Easter Sepulchre Ceremony in Durham Abbey; Old Church Lore by
^ John B. Sheerin, "Sermons on the Three Hours’ Agony"
^ Pfatteicher, Philip H. (2013-09-23). Living the Liturgical Year.
Oxford University Press. p. 212. ISBN 9780199997138.
Retrieved 13 April 2014. The Three-Hour (Tre-ore) service, an
extra-liturgical (that is, outside the liturgical tradition) service,
held to mark the hours of Jesus's passion from noon until three in the
afternoon, was instituted by the Jesuits on the occasion of the 1687
Peru earthquake. The service was introduced into the Church of England
in the 1860s and was for a time widely observed in Anglican and
Lutheran and some Catholic churches. A prominent feature was preaching
on the "Seven Last Words" of
Jesus from the cross, a conflation of the
accounts in the four Gospels.
^ Roman Missal, Holy Saturday
^ J. Dudley Weaver, Jr. (2002). Presbyterian Worship: A Guide for
Clergy. Geneva Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780664502188. Retrieved
13 April 2014. The
Vigil consists of four parts: the Service of
Light, the service of Readings (the Word), the celebration of Baptism,
and the celebration of the Lord's Supper.
^ Ribeiro, Patricia. "
Easter in Brazil". Retrieved 9 December
^ Reily, Suzel Ana (June 2006). "Remembering the Baroque Era:
Historical Consciousness, Local Identity and the Holy Week
Celebrations in a Former Mining Town in Brazil". Ethnomusicology
Forum. 15 (1): 39–62. JSTOR 20184539.
^ Shapiro, Michael (2008). Guatemala: a Journey Through the Land of
the Maya. Purple Moon Publications; 1st edition.
^ Nash, June (1994). "Judas Transformed [Maya, Holy Week]". Natural
History. 103 (3).
^ McGuire, Thomas (1989). "Ritual, Theater, and the Persistence of the
Ethnic Group: Interpreting Yaqui Semana Santa". Journal of the
Southwest. 31 (2): 159–178. JSTOR 40169672.
^ Fein, Judith (8 April 2012). "Week Celebrations of the Yaqui
Indians". Fox News. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
^ Vila, Alixandra Caole (April 2, 2015). "IN PHOTOS: A look at
churches where Pinoys spend Visita Iglesia". The Philippine Star.
philstar.com. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
^ Bartolome, Jessica (April 1, 2015). "Doing the Visita Iglesia in
Metro Manila". GMA News. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
Easter Salubong: Rooted in culture, family ties". GMA News Online.
^ Tubeza, Philip C. "Faithful rejoice at 'salubong'".
newsinfo.inquirer.net. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
Triodion (standard Orthodox service book)
^ Luke 7:36-50
^ John 20:19-25
^ Frederick Holweck, "Feasts of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed
Virgin Mary" in
Catholic Encyclopedia (New York 1912)
^ Calendarium Romanum (Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis 1969). p.119
^ Roman Missal, Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Holy Week.
Liturgical year of the Catholic Church
Based on the
General Roman Calendar
General Roman Calendar (1969)
Christmas (Nativity of Jesus)^
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God^
Baptism of the Lord
Ordinary Time I
Jesus at the
Feast of the Annunciation
Saint Joseph's Day^
Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Holy Wednesday,
Maundy Thursday (
Mass of the
Maundy Thursday (
Mass of the Lord's Supper)
Liturgy of the Word, Adoration of the Cross, Holy Communion
Resurrection of Jesus
Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday)
Feast of the Ascension^
Ordinary Time II
Visitation of Mary
Saint John the Baptist
Feast of Saints Peter and Paul^
Transfiguration of Jesus
Assumption of Mary^
Nativity of Mary
Feast of the Cross
All Saints' Day^
All Souls' Day
Presentation of Mary
Feast of Christ the King
^ = Holy days of obligation (10)
See also: Computus
General Roman Calendar
General Roman Calendar of 1960
General Roman Calendar
General Roman Calendar of
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII of 1950
General Roman Calendar
General Roman Calendar of 1954
Burial of Jesus
Crucifixion of Jesus
Dormition of the Theotokos
Good Friday Prayer
Good Friday prayer for the Jews
Resurrection of Jesus
Burning of Judas
Clipping the church
Easter egg tree
Egg decorating in Slavic culture
Holy Week procession
Pace Egg play
Scoppio del carro
Easter games and customs
Ecclesiastical new moon
Paschal Full Moon
Reform of the date of Easter
Divine Mercy Sunday
Octave of Easter