How to Celebrate Holy Week

Person holding Bible

Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Holy Week is the week leading up to Easter and is celebrated by Christians throughout the world. Both Protestants and Catholics observe these holy days with awe and reference in preparation for the celebration of Easter Sunday. Holy Week is marked by remembering the life and death of Jesus Christ. There are four main days during the week that mark the last week of Jesus’ life here on Earth, culminating on Easter Sunday.

Plan on attending a Palm Sunday church service. Palm Sunday is observed on the Sunday before Easter and marks the beginning of Holy Week. Christians throughout the world gather together at churches to worship and celebrate the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. Many churches have a processional throughout the church. Join in the processional as it weaves its way through the church building and invites the congregation to join in. Wave the palm branches given to you as you enter the church. At home make the palm branch into a cross with your children as a remembrance of Holy Week.

Celebrate Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) by either attending church or gathering with other Christians to enjoy a Passover meal. The focus of Holy Thursday is the last meal (last supper) that Jesus shared with his disciples before his death. Since Jesus was born Jewish, the meal that he shared would have been the Passover meal. Christians believe communion was instituted at the last supper. Join in receiving communion with fellow believers. During this meal, Jesus washed the feet of his followers. Partake in the reenactment of this practice and wash the feet of fellow members of a congregation or at home with your family.

Reflect on the significance of Good Friday. Commemorate Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion and death. Attend a service or remember these events by participating in the Stations of the Cross. Many churches use various scenes from Jesus’ life to tell the story of Jesus’ last days. Pray and fast.

Contemplate on Holy Saturday what Jesus accomplished by dying on the cross. Read the four gospel accounts of Jesus’ last days on earth in the bible. Wait in anticipation for Resurrection morning.

Rejoice on Easter Sunday. Choose to attend a sunrise service to watch the new day begin or attend church with other Christians. Celebrate with family and friends by sharing an Easter meal. Watch a movie or program that emphasizes the life of Jesus and his resurrection.