The month of April is a solemn one for Catholics all over the world, gathering to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. This 2017, the date of this month’s Holy Week falls on the 9th all the way to the 15th. Get to know more about this serious holiday with a few facts to remember and share.
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of the Holy Week.
Palm Sunday was meant to remind people of the time Jesus rode into Jerusalem, greeted by the people with palm leaves.
The ashes for Ash Wednesday are made from the previous year’s palm leaves blessed during Palm Sunday.
Palm Sunday is also known under the names “The Passion Sunday”, “Willow Sunday”, and “Flower Sunday”.
On the first Maundy Thursday, Jesus held the very first Catholic Mass.
Thursday was also the same day Jesus prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane and was betrayed by Judas, leading to the eventual crucifixion.
Maundy Thursday also holds the honor of establishing the very first priesthood under the church.
The “maundy” in Maundy Thursday derives from the word “mandate”. Mandate, meaning “an official order”, refers to the commandment established that day (to love one another as he loves us).
During a Good Friday reenactment in the Philippines, some extremely fervent Catholic devotees will actually nail themselves on a cross. This is not advised or sanctioned by the church, though.
In the old days, Good Friday was a day of fasting. These days, only one of the three meals of the day is excluded for the entirety of the day. In other countries or regions, only meat is excluded from all meals on that day.