The Holy week in Christianity is the last week of Lent and the week before Easter. It is also called PASSION week. Associated with it is the religious holiday of Friday of Sorrows, while the week itself includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday), Good Friday ( jem3a el 3azimeh), and Holy Saturday. It does not include Easter Sunday, which is the beginning of another liturgical week. Most Christians fast this last week, and for some, abstinence from flesh is commanded for all the days, while for the Friday and Sunday an absolute fast is commanded.
Holy week : Holy Week institutes the sanctity of the whole calendar year of the Church. Its center of commemorations and inspiration is Easter, wherein the glorified Resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. The 50 days before Easter, are the period for strengthening faith in the Lord. The means are well-known to people of spiritual experience.
They are repentance, which means to change from indifference to full devotion; prayer, which is considered the soul of faith, and through which faith emerges from theory into life; and self-control, which governs our relationships with our fellowman. – Palm Sunday : “Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord…” Palm Sunday celebrates the glorious and brilliant feast of the Entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. – Monday of Holy Week : commemorates the blessed and noble Joseph and the fig tree which was cursed and withered by the Lord.
Jesus cursed the tree: “May no fruit ever come from you again!” (Matt. 21:19) – Great Holy Tuesday : it has been ordained by the Holy Fathers of the Church that commemoration should be made of the anointing of Christ with myrrh by the woman in the house of Simon, the leper, in Bethany. – Great Holy Wednesday : “Anointing him sick with oil in the name of the Lord…” It is the evening of repentance, confession, and the remission of sins by the Lord, preparing the faithful to receive Holy Communion, usually the next day, Holy Thursday morning. At the end of the service, the priest anoints the people with Holy Oil, the visible carrier of the Grace of God. – Great Holy Thursday : “Do this in remembrance of Me…” Jesus drew His last breath of freedom on this Thursday night.
Christ knew all the incidents which were about to take place and called to Him His Apostles in order to institute the Holy Eucharist for them and for the Church forever.In Lebanon, there is a special traditions for the Maronite Church, which is the visitation of seven churches. Another tradition of the catholic church is when the priest washes the feet of the discples. – Good Friday : “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do…” It is a fast day in all Churches. It consists of psalms, hymns, and readings dealing with the death of Christ, in contrast to His divinity, and in expectation of His Resurrection.
One of the hymns relates: “He who holds all things is raised up on the Cross and all creation laments to see Him hang naked on the Tree.” – Great Holy Saturday Morning : “Arise, O God, and judge Thou the earth…
” Psalms are read and Resurrection hymns are sung which tell of Christ’s descent into Hades. “Today Hades cried out groaning” is the hymn’s description of the resurrection of Adam and the conquering of death. Thus this day’s celebration is called “First Resurrection.” Most of the readings of this day are from the Old Testament on the prophecies and promise of the conquering of death.