This week is the most important few days of the year. We commemorate Christ’s final days and passion.
Today, Palm Sunday, we recall Our Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where the crowds worshipped him and lay palm leaves before him. But, we all know so well, great tragedy and sorrow were only a few days away. Many Jews hated Jesus, and called him a blasphemer for claiming to be from God.
Tomorrow, Monday, the Bishop will be joined by his priests and people in the cathedral to celebrate the Chrism Mass, when the oils for the next year are blessed and distributed. Also at the Mass, the priests and bishop recall the solemn observance of Christ’s institution of the priesthood. (This Mass has been moved from Holy Thursday to help priests be present in their parishes on that day).
Holy Thursday evening begins the Solemn Triduum (three days of continuous prayer). We recall the first ever Mass, the establishment of the Holy Eucharist at Christ’s hands. Also, we recall Christ’s washing of the apostles’ feet, and we end the evening by stripping the altar and removing the Blessed Sacrament to a special place of repose.
No Mass is celebrated on Good Friday, a day of fasting and abstinence. Our eyes are fixed on the Cross of Calvary. We think of the cost of our sins. We contemplate our own death to sin in the death of Our Lord. The church is bare. The altar is bare. The tabernacle is empty. The only music is unaccompanied chant. We go home in silence. We prepare for Easter.
Come, celebrate Holy Week. Come, worship your Savior.
— Fr. A. McKay, C.SS.R.