This content is provided by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.
“Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” Catholics heard these words on Ash Wednesday at the beginning of this Lenten season. The trials of the past year have certainly reminded us all of our human weakness. But this holy season beckons us through repentance to the splendor of the resurrection.
Beginning March 28, Lent draws to an end as Catholics worldwide and within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington embark on a spiritual journey through the holiest events of the history of the faith – Holy Week.
During Holy Week, Christians reflect on the events leading up to Jesus’ Passion, Death on the Cross, and Resurrection.
On Palm Sunday, the Church celebrates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem before his Passion. The palms signify the branches the crowds used to pave the way for him, crying: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (MT 21:9). The palms used on Palm Sunday will then be burned and used as the ashes for next year’s Ash Wednesday.
At the Chrism Mass on March 29, Cardinal Gregory will bless the holy oils and chrism used in the sacramental life of the Church in the coming year.
The Holy Thursday liturgy celebrates the Last Supper – the Passover meal Jesus celebrated with his Apostles before his death – and commemorates the institution of the priesthood and the Eucharist.
Good Friday commemorates Jesus’ death on the cross, and is a solemn day of fasting, abstinence from meat, and penance.
Easter Sunday, this year on April 4, is the celebration of hope and glory of the Christian life, when Christians worldwide observe Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
Cardinal Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, and priests throughout the archdiocese will celebrate and participate in Masses and liturgies throughout these days. Cardinal Gregory’s livestreamed Masses are available on the archdiocesan YouTube and Facebook pages.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington invites you to participate in each of these unique liturgies to experience God’s mercy and refreshing healing this year. Catholic churches in the archdiocese are also safely open with COVID-19 precautions for private prayer, Masses, and confessions. Learn more at thelightison.org/.
To learn more and participate in Holy Week liturgies, visit adw.org/media-events/events/holy-week/.