This next week marks the sacred days of the church calendar.
Holy Week is a special time of celebration when we commemorate those last days of the Lord’s earthly life, his passion, death and resurrection.
Holy Thursday celebrates the night before his death, when Jesus gathered around him those special friends and instituted the Eucharist. It is an opportunity for the Christian community to come together to consolidate faith in the Eucharist and to strengthen the bonds of communion among us. The Solemn celebration of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday night incorporates the ritual washing of feet. Jesus on that night took on the role of a servant and washed the feet of his disciples. In those times visitors to a home were greeted by a servant who would wash their dusty feet before they were shown in to join the family. In assuming this role, Jesus was making an important statement. He was giving an example of humble service that the disciples were to emulate. In choosing his moment at the last supper Jesus made a link between Eucharist and the call to service of others, a call that we are all called to answer. The whole celebration of Holy Thursday prefigures the events of the following day when self-sacrificing love would express itself in total giving. The Holy Thursday liturgy ends with the removal of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose. This recalls the time spent by the Lord in the garden at Gethsemene.
Good Friday remembers that day on which Jesus made the supreme sacrifice of his life on the cross for us.
Holy Saturday night sees the celebration of the Easter Vigil, when we gather to keep vigil in preparation for the celebration of the triumph of Christ’s Resurrection. The Paschal Candle is blessed and lit. John 1:5 says, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”. Tonight, we renew our Baptismal commitment and embrace our faith renewed by the light of the Resurrection.
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Go raibh míle maith agat!
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