Holy Week & Easter
On the night before he died Jesus shared the passover meal with his disciples.
The Priest reenacts the washing of feet, and the commandment that we should love one another as Christ has loved us.
The Last Supper, became the first Mass, when Jesus gave the disciples bread and wine telling them that these are his Body and Blood. He said to them "do this in remembrance of me"; words that we use at every Mass.
The mass on Holy Thursday has no ending, there is a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose and we are all invited to spend some time watching with Jesus. Meanwhile the main altar is stripped bare.
The Vigil is kept until 11.30 at which time night prayer is said.
Is a day of quiet fasting and mourning. The Liturgy today has three parts:
The Cross in Words
The dramatic reading of the Passion of Jesus.
We listen and remember again how Jesus suffered and died for our sins.
The Cross in Wood
Then, we participate in the Adoration of the Cross.
The Cross is the means of our salvation.
We come forward; we bow before it, kiss it, touch it, say a short prayer.
The Cross in Bread
We receive communion in bread only as on this day Jesus shed his blood and died for us
Maria Desolata is a devotion for Good Friday. It involves the faithful walking the Stations of the Cross in reverse – as if walking with Mary on the way home from Calvary.
There are no Celebrations of the Mass during the day On Holy Saturday.
Holy Saturday ends in the greatest and most beautiful service of the Church year - the Easter Vigil. No-one should miss this night if they can possibly help it. Symbolically rich - the vigil and celebrations of this night are the culmination of our lenten journey.
Beginning outside with the blessing of the Fire, the Easter candle is lit followed by the peoples candles we then process into the darkness of the Church for the candlelight Vigil, the liturgy also includes baptism, the renewal of our baptismal promises, the first bursting forth of the 'Alleluia' that we've kept silent all through Lent and the first Mass of the resurrection - We leave joyful, knowing that now He's risen, and Easer has come at last