Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the most sombre time of the Christian Church. It includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Saturday’s Easter Vigil. It is a time for Christians to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the Cross.
On Palm Sunday, Jesus begins his triumphal entry into Jerusalem greeted by a large crowd laying palm fronds in His path and chanting:
“Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!” John 12:12-13
Blessed Sacrament Church commemorated the Holy Week with the traditional blessing of palm leaves.
The three days of the Sacred Triduum started with the Liturgical celebrations of Holy Thursday. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his Twelve Apostles, and the commandment of brotherly love that Jesus gave after washing the feet of his disciples.
Good Friday is observed as a day of fasting and abstinence. The Church mourns the death of Jesus Christ and the faithful venerate the crucifix on their knees.
The Easter Vigil consists of four parts:
- The Service of Light
- The Liturgy of the Word
- The Liturgy of Baptism: The sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation for new members of the Church and the Renewal of Baptismal Promises by the entire congregation.
- Holy Eucharist
The Liturgy begins outside the church where a new fire is kindled and blessed by the priest. This new fire symbolizes the light of salvation and hope that God brought into the world through Christ’s Resurrection, dispelling the darkness of sin and death.
The priest lights the Paschal candle from this fire, symbolizing the Light of Christ. This Paschal candle will be used throughout the season of Easter, remaining in the sanctuary of the Church or near the lectern, and throughout the coming year at baptisms and funerals, reminding all that Christ is “light and life.”
Easter Sunday immediately follows the Easter Vigil when Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. Easter symbolizes forgiveness, rebirth, and God’s saving power.
Blessed Sacrament Church has chronicled the Holy Week with pictorials for its parishioners to re-live their experience at the Church throughout the week.
Christ is Risen! Blessed Easter to everyone.
Photos by: Carol Francis, Stephanie Chua, Crystal Chong, Dominic Bong