By Joanna George
On April 14th, people throughout the world will celebrate Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week.
Throughout Holy Week, people will observe Jesus’ last week on Earth, as well as attend special masses and other events to prepare for Easter Sunday.
Specifically, people attend masses for Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. These days, in particular, have a special meaning to Catholics.
· Palm Sunday, April 14th is the first day of Holy Week and celebrates Jesus’ arrival at Jerusalem when he rode into town on a donkey that was bought by one of his 12 disciples. As he rode down the path, the people of the city laid down branches from the palm trees as well as their cloaks on the road while shouting “Hosanna!” and praising the Son of God. This day is part of Holy Week as the start of Jesus’ journey to the cross where he is crucified for our sins. (1)
· Maundy Thursday, April 18th is known to many as Holy Thursday. The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum, which means “commandment.” (2) This day observes the last commandment that was spoken by the Son of God. In John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (3)
· Good Friday, April 19th is when the death of Jesus is observed. Jesus died on the cross at Golgotha (4) in front of his followers and the people of Jerusalem. (5) At this point in history, crucifixion was only done to the lowest-leveled criminals. When Jesus was put to death, the thorn crown that he wore was presented by the Roman soldiers and given to him as a sign of mockery because people called him “the King of Jews.” (7) As Jesus was slowly dying on the cross, many witnessed the sky changing and the earth quaking, as well as a light from the sky.
· Easter Sunday, April 21st is the final day of Holy Week when Jesus was resurrected which symbolizes our deliverance from condemnation. In 1 Peter 1:3, this is mentioned, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
The Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York wish you and your loved ones a blessed Holy Week.
Joanna George is a senior at Tappan Zee High School and completing her Senior Seminar Internship project with the Sisters of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York.