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Weekly Bulletin March 28, 2021
by Terrie Evans
On this last Sunday before Easter, we have the blessing of the palms and the beginning of Holy Week. On palm Sunday we recall the triumphant entry of the savior into Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion. On this day, Jesus rode a donkey with people spreading palm branches on the road before him. In the Greco-Roman Culture the palm branch is considered a symbol of goodness, and victory. In the Eastern tradition, the donkey Jesus Christ rode in on was considered an animal of peace. In Italy, palm leaves and small olive branches are used and placed above a door until the next Palm Sunday. This Sunday is also referred to as Yew or Branch Sunday for the substitution of native trees such as box, olive, willow or yew branches in place of palms.
March 28 – April 3rd is the start of Holy Week and the Last week of Lent. The days between Palm Sunday and Maundy or Sheer (Holy) Thursday are known as Holy Monday, Holy Tuesday and Holy or Spy Wednesday. On Holy Monday, some will observe the anointing of Jesus at Bethany according to John 12:1-11. On Holy Tuesday, some will observe Christs prediction of his own death as described in John 12:20-36 and John 13:21-38. On Holy Wednesday we recall the story of Judas and his betrayal of Jesus. Judas arranged this with the chief priests as he acted as a spy among the disciples of Jesus with this day also called Spy Wednesday. Some other events on this date include the events at the home of Simon the Leper and the anointing of Jesus by Mary of Bethany. These events directly preceded the betrayal by Judas. Within Western Christianity in the Roman Rite, a Tenebrae (Latin for shadows) Liturgy will be held by extinguishing candles, chanting or reciting readings and psalms.
On Holy or Maundy Thursday, we commemorate the Last Supper with Jesus predicting his betrayal, the Denial of Peter and his own death and resurrection. In the Catholic Church, on this solemn day a private celebration of Mass is forbidden. The only Mass on this day is the evening Mass of the Lords Supper that inaugurates the three days known as the Easter Triduum which includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. On Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lords Supper commemorates Jesus with his Twelve Apostles and the Commandment of brotherly love that Jesus gave by washing the feet of his disciples. This day also introduces the institution of the Eucharist and Priesthood.
On Good Friday, we remember the Crucifixion and death of Jesus. The only sacraments celebrated on Good Friday are penance and the Anointing of the Sick. Observed as a fasting day with the Stations of the Cross, or a time of self- reflection as a way to commemorate the Lord’s Passion. Holy Saturday or Black Saturday is the day between the Crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus. Mass is not celebrated until after the Easter Vigil occurring after sundown when Easter Sunday will then be celebrated.