Holy Week between Palm Sunday and Easter is the most sacred time of year. It’s remembering Jesus’ triumph, suffering and resurrection. Ultimately it’s about ours. From our Baptism liturgy- "We thank you, Father, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit." Every Sunday is an Easter.
“Philosopher Charles Taylor has written that in sacred times chronology seems to disappear. That is true about Holy Week. The days become linked together and when we live through this period, we’re actually experiencing as it happened. We actually enter into the story, enter into the narrative in a more real way than we enter into any other day of the year” – Rev. Philip Jackson, Trinity Wall Street.
From early times, Christians have observed the week before Easter as a time of special prayer and devotion. As the pilgrim Egeria recorded in the late fourth century, numerous pilgrims to the holy city of Jerusalem followed the path of Jesus in his last days. They formed processions, worshipped where Christ suffered and died, and venerated sacred sites and relics. From this beginning evolved the practices we observe today on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
"Struggle" – From the Brothers of St. John the Evangelist
“Make no mistake about it. The events of Holy Week and Easter are not merely annual reenactments of the tragic events of the life of an important historical personage. This is spiritual mystery on its deepest and most cosmic scale. These are mysteries we, too, struggle with daily all our lives and which remain beyond our comprehension.”
– Br. Eldridge Pendleton
“Holy Week is a time to think about risk, because that;’s what the whole Passion narrative represents. We watch those around Jesus- his disciples, his friends, his companions who has been with him since those early days of the ministry in Galilee. These are the companions who have watched him heal the sick, feed the multitudes and proclaim the good news. Yet we see them now, in that fateful last week, betraying him, denying him, running away fro him. These are stories not only of Judas and Peter, of John and James, they are our stories as well. Who stands firm and who runs? What happens when you run ? And what can we do, now that we have failed ourselves and others to find that “at-one-ment” agains.” – Amy-Jill Levine, Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week
Walk with Jesus in his suffering and share in his resurrection during Holy Week.
The Biblical verses below will lead you along Jesus’ path during Holy Week. After each day there is a link from "Progression of Faith" that includes a summary based on The LastWeek (Borg/ Crossan) as well as other commentaries.
There are a series of focus links to examine other topics, such as Holy Week Art and a special presentation on Leonardo’s Last Supper. The music of Holy Week is explored by examining Bach’s Passion works, St. Matthew and St. John’s Passion.
Sunday, April 5 , 2020– Palm Sunday
Giotto di Bonde, Entry into Jerusalem (1304-06), Fresco, Cappella Scrovegni (Arena Chapel), Padua
Palm Sunday is the hinge between Lent and Holy Week. Here is a page that uncovers the meaning of the day
Bishop Curry sets the scene
Palm Sunday in scripture
Jesus, at the Mount of Olives, sends two disciples to secure a donkey and a colt; makes his “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem; weeps over Jerusalem
Some Greeks seek Jesus John 12:20-36
Special -Remembering the Belfry construction, 2012 – Jim Heimbach’s photos. Easter week is a time of remembrance. In that spirit it is appropriate to present these pictures to celebrate this achievement.
Monday, April 6 – The Temple
Jesus Cleansing the Temple
On Monday morning Jesus and the Twelve leave Bethany to return to Jerusalem, and along the way Jesus curses the fig tree
Jesus enters Jerusalem and clears the temple
In the evening Jesus and the Twelve leave Jerusalem (returning to Bethany )
Video Introduction, Monday
Holy Week timeline, Monday
Holy Week Timeline- Monday and Tuesday
What happened on Monday of Holy Week?
No turning back (Monday)
Progression of Faith Blog – Monday
Brothers of St. John the Evangelist- Praying Monday in Holy Week
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 – The End Times
Titus Destroying Jerusalem (Wilhelm von Kaulbach)
Jesus’ disciples see the withered fig tree on their return to Jerusalem from Bethany. As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots.
Jesus engages in conflict with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem
There are 4 confrontations :
The Disciples marvel at the Temple; Jesus delivers the Olivet Discourse on their return to Bethany from Jerusalem about the Temple and end times.
Prophecy about the Temple – Mark 13:1-2
Prophecy about the Future –
Today, Judas was working on the details of the betrayal of Christ and was paid 30 pieces of silver.
Video Introduction, Tuesday
Holy Week Timeline- Tuesday
Holy Week Timeline- Monday and Tuesday
The Four Traps on Tuesday
What Happened on Tuesday of Holy Week ?
Progression of Faith Blog – Tuesday
Brothers of St. John the Evangelist- Praying Tuesday in Holy Week
Wednesday, April 8, 2020 – The Plot and the Perfume
Jesus continues his daily teaching in the Temple
With Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread approaching, the chief priests, elders, and scribes plot to kill Jesus
The anointing at Bethany – Mark 14:3-9
Satan enters Judas, who seeks out the Jewish authorities in order to betray Jesus for a price
Video Introduction to Wednesday
Holy Week Timeline- Wednesday
Holy Week Visual Timeline- Wednesday, Thursday
What Happened on Wednesday of Holy Week ?
Brothers of SSJE comment on betrayal
Progression of Faith Blog – Wednesday
Brothers of St. John the Evangelist – Praying Wednesday of Holy Week
Tenebrae 7pm, April 17.
Thursday, April 9, 2020 – The Arrest
Jesus instructs Peter and John to secure a large upper room in a house in Jerusalem and to prepare for the Passover meal
In the evening Jesus eats the Passover meal with the Twelve, tells them of the coming betrayal, and institutes the Lord’s Supper
After supper Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, interacts with them, and delivers the Upper Room Discourse
Jesus foretells Peter’s denials
Jesus and the disciples go to Gethsemane, where he struggles in prayer and they struggle to stay awake late into the night
Video Introduction to Thursday
Holy Week Timeline- Thursday
Greatest Prayer in the World
What Happened on Thursday of Holy Week ?
Progression of Faith Blog – Thursday
Gethsemane (poem) – Mary Oliver
Brothers of St. John the Evangelist – Praying Maundy Thursday
Washington Cathedral, 7pm
Maundy Thursday 7pm
Friday, April 10, 2020 – The Execution
Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested by the authorities (perhaps after midnight, early Friday morning)
Jewish trial, phase 1: Jesus has a hearing before Annas (former high priest and Caiaphas’s father-in-law)
Jewish trial, phase 2: Jesus stands trial before Caiaphas and part of the Sanhedrin
Peter denies Jesus
Perhaps after sunrise, phase 3 of Jesus’ Jewish trial: final consultation before the full Sanhedrin; sent to Pilate
Phase 1 of Jesus’ Roman trial: first appearance before Pontius Pilate; sent to Herod Antipas
Phase 2 of Jesus’ Roman trial: appears before Herod Antipas; sent back to Pontius Pilate
Interrogation by Antipas – Luke 23.8-12
Judas hangs himself – The Death of Judas – Mathew 27:3-5
Phase 3 of Jesus’ Roman trial: Jesus’ second appearance before Pilate; condemned to die
The flogging – Mark 15:16-20
Video introduction to Friday
Holy Week Timeline- Friday
Holy Week Visual Timeline-Friday
It is Finished
What Happened on Friday of Holy Week ?
Progression of Faith Blog – Friday
Society of St. John the Evangelist – Praying Good Friday
Good Friday, 7pm.
Saturday, April 11, 2020 – The Silence
The Women prepare for annointing Jesus
After the crucifixion on Friday, the focus shifts to Jesus’ tomb and the women prepare to anoint his body
It is a day of waiting. Jesus is in Joseph of Arimathea’s family tomb which was typical of the time and cut into rock. This was a tomb for the wealthy based on the work that had been done to create it. It was forecast by Isaiah but well above Jesus station in life.
The earliest Biblical Gospel, Mark, says nothing about Saturday of Holy Week. There are some other references elsewhere about a mythological type of spiritual journey by Jesus into hell and releasing of the saint’s spirits (from 1 Peter 3) but that might refer to the ascension. Nothing historical is mentioned anywhere. The disciples are laying low probably fearful that the same thing might happen to them as did Jesus.
Luke notes that the women returned home “and prepared spices and ointments. On the sabbath they rested according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56). The preparing of the body would have been the main activity and typical of burial customs of the time.
Video introduction to Saturday
Holy Week Timeline- Saturday
Holy Week Visual Timeline- Sat/Sun
Let His Blood Be On Us
What Happened on Saturday of Holy Week ?
12 things you need to know about Holy Saturday
Progression of Faith Blog – Saturday
The Great Vigil of Easter, when observed, is the first service of Easter. It is celebrated at a convenient time between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Morning and is the climax of three days of Triduum (Thursday, TenebraeFriday, Saturday. Followers of Jesus began celebrating his Resurrection with the Easter Vigil service very early on. By 215 CE, we already have descriptions of services and liturgical prayers that the early Church was using. It was revived by our current prayer book.
The service normally consists of four parts:
1. The Service of Light. The service begins after sundown with people gathering outside in the dark. A new fire is kindled then blessed. Then the new Paschal Candle is blessed and lit. Once the Paschal Candle is lit, its flame is shared with all who light their taper candles from its flame. Then a candlelight procession is lead into the darkened church, stopping periodically to declare “The Light of Christ,” to which all respond “Thanks be to God!” The very ancient Exsultet is chanted by the deacon or other minister.
2. The Ministry of the Word. Then, in the candlelit darkness, lessons are read. There as a few as 4 and as many as 9 or even 12 in some services.
3. Baptism or the Renewal of Baptism. After the lessons, any candidates for Baptism are presented by their sponsors. In the midst of the gathered faithful, they take their baptismal vows and then the whole assembly renews their Baptismal Covenant with them.
4. The Ministry of the Sacrament. Then there is a loud noise in the darkness, reminiscent of the sound of the stone being rolled away from the entry to Jesus’ tomb, and everyone blows noisemakers or rings bells joyously as we celebrate the moment of Resurrection. All the lights are turned on and the candles at the altar are lit. Then the Gospel reading, telling the story of the first Easter morning, is told, followed by a homily. The first Eucharist of Easter is presented.
April 12, 2020 – Easter, the Resurrection
Some women arrive at Jesus’ tomb near dawn, probably with Mary Magdalene arriving first.
Mary and the other women, instead of finding Jesus’ body, are met by two young men who are angels; one of them announces Jesus’ resurrection.
The women, fearful and joyful, leave the garden—at first unwilling to say anything to anyone about this but then changing their mind and going to tell the Eleven.
Mary Magdalene likely rushes ahead and tells Peter and John before the other women arrive.
Mary Magdalene has an encounter with Jesus in the garden.
The other women, still en route to tell the disciples, are met by Jesus, who confirms their decision to tell the Eleven and promises to meet them in Galilee.
The women arrive and tell the disciples that Jesus is risen. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion
Peter and John rush to the tomb (based on Mary Magdalene’s report) and discover it empty.
That afternoon Jesus appears to Cleopas and a friend on the road to Emmaus; later Jesus appears to Peter
That evening Jesus appears to the Ten (minus Thomas) in a house (with locked doors) in Jerusalem. The Upper Room.
Video introduction to Sunday
Holy Week Timeline- Easter Sunday
What Happened on Easter Sunday of Holy Week ?
Have You Found What You’re Looking For?
Progression of Faith Blog – Easter Sunday
Society of St. John the Evangelist – Praying Easter Sunday
Easter Voices, Year A
Easter, 6:30am Sunrise Service, 11am Service St. Peter’s (10:45 lighting of the Paschal Candle)
Holy Week Geography
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4. April, 2020 Server Schedule
10. Recent Services:
Third Lent, March 15 Photos from March 15
Fourth Lent, March 22 Photos from March 22
Fifth Lent, March 29 Photos from March 29
Block Print by Mike Newman
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Daily meditations in words and music.
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Saints of the Week, April 5 – April 12, 2020
|Harriet Starr Cannon, Monastic, 1896
Pandita Mary Ramabai, Missionary, 1922
|Daniel G. C. Wu, Priest and Missionary, 1956|
|Tikhon, Patriarch & Ecumenist, 1925|
|William Augustus Muhlenberg, Priest, 1877
Anne Ayers, Monastic, 1896
|Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pastor and Theologian, 1945|
|William Law, Priest, 1761; also
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Priest & Scientist, 1955
|George Augustus Selwyn, Bishop, 1878|
|Teresa of the Andes, Monastic, 1920|