Categories: Pastor's Desk

A blessed Holy Week to all! This week has long been one of my favourite times of the Church Year. The celebrations of Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil have always helped me to enter more fully into the celebration of Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. Through these liturgical celebrations, we truly walk with Christ on his journey to the cross.

On Palm Sunday, we enter Jerusalem with Jesus, singing “Hosanna to the son of David!” After that moment of joy, our focus shifts, as we read the Passion Narrative, and remind ourselves why Jesus chose to go up to Jerusalem.

On Holy Thursday, we celebrate the Institution of the Eucharist, and the establishment of the Priesthood. We also recall how Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, teaching them that true leadership is expressed through service and Sacrifice. Our celebration ends in silence, as we journey to the garden to “watch and pray” with Jesus.

On Good Friday, we gather in silence. The Church is bare: no candles, no cross, no cloths on the altar, no Eucharist in the Tabernacle. Everything about this day reminds us of the reality of what has taken place. We commemorate the Lord’s Passion by once again reading the Passion Narrative, and by venerating the wood of the cross, on which hung our salvation. Even though there is a somber tone that runs throughout this day, there is also a sense of hope: because we know that the story of our Lord’s passion does not end here.

On Holy Saturday night, the Church gathers in darkness. However, it is not long before a new fire is kindled, the Paschal candle is blessed, and we are proclaiming that Christ is the Light of the World. We listen to a synopsis of salvation history, reminding ourselves how God has delivered his people from harm throughout history. The Gloria and the Alleluia are sung again, and in the Gospel, we stand with the women at the tomb, as they hear the words “He has been raised- he is not here!” Adding to our Easter Joy, the Elect who have been journeying through the RCIA program are received into the Church, as we joyfully proclaim that Christ is risen. This joy carries over into Easter Sunday, when Jesus meets the apostles in the upper room, and they rejoice at his presence.

Even if you are unable to join us for our Holy Week celebrations, I encourage you to spend time in prayer, journeying with our Lord through the events of this week. As we recall the Paschal Mystery, may this sacred time be a source of blessing for us all.

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Steven Huber, CSB