During these final days of Lent people from many faith traditions celebrate the Holiest of Days. This week Christians celebrate Holy Week, which begins with the retelling of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Lent officially ends with the movement to the Celebration of the Holy Tridduum (the three day celebration of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil). The Holy Tridduum is to be seen as ONE celebration. From the Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday, to the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday to the Lighting of a New Fire & Paschal Candle as an Exultation of Christ’s victory over the darkness of death on Holy Saturday, this One celebration over Three Days is a time of deep listening and anticipation. On Saturday our Jewish brothers and sisters will celebrate the first day of Passover. This week leads me to reflect on a question that is a variation based on the Jewish celebration of Passover. “Why is this night/week any different from other nights/weeks?”
The Jewish people tell the story in an act of remembering God passing over their houses and he was slaying the first born of Egypt. On the first night of Passover, a special family meal filled with ritual reminds us of the significance of the holiday. Passover lasts for seven days. It is a time for listening and rediscovering the story.
Christians celebrate Holy Week, the remembrance of Jesus’ passion and death. In this week special worship services are celebrated. Each of the services recounts moments in Jesus ministry and actions for us to follow, washing of feet, the last supper, and veneration of the cross. All of these services are marked with silence, a time for Holy listening, that leads up to the joyous Easter proclamation at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night.
Why is this night/week any different from other nights/weeks? In this time of the year we awaken to a gladness of a dawning, of springtime, of a beginning. This time is marked with Holy Silence, so that we can listen to the stories of our tradition and rediscover ourselves in the midst of those stories, a new.
In this Holiest of weeks, how can we open ourselves up to a newness of life that God is calling us to, by listening. We sit in a time of Holy reminder, that we are all part of this story, the human story. Before the busyness of spring, flourishes into summer, fades into fall and lies dormant again in the winter, we are reminded to take the time to listen. To tap into the passion that is inside of our hearts, so that we may know God’s passion for us and rediscover our own. May you have a blessed Holy Week and Passover!
- Palm Sunday is the great doorway leading into Holy Week (whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com)
- Holy Week, Love Week (interruptingthesilence.com)