Why Holy Week, Why Holy Thursday, Why Good Friday and Holy Saturday?
Why do we call week Holy not a bad or horrible week as Jesus suffered and died in the same week? Why is it Holy Thursday and Good Friday instead of terrible or bad Friday of the death of Jesus on Friday? Why is Holy Saturday instead of mourning Saturday because Jesus is dead and buried?
Most of us don’t ask these questions because we know or we grew up knowing that it is the week Jesus suffered and died on Friday, which is Good Friday and then Easter on Sunday. That is all we know. Some of us, we even forget our catechisms, what we were taught and we don’t care to know more!
We should know that there is more to Holy Week and all the activities that we do during the week. We are going to explain in very simple English as we always do, no big grammar or big words that you will start looking for the meaning!
Holy Week is the most solemn week of the Christian year, not only Catholic, only in Tivland. It is a week before Easter and during this week we remember the last week, days of Jesus. Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday. You know Palm tree in Nigeria, in Tiv land is a very important tree, there are a lot of things you can get from Palm Tree. It was important in those days too, it was used by the crowd to show respect and honour, to Jesus as a King by letting him walk on into Jerusalem.
It is good to reflect a bit at this point, how many times we did accept Christ in our lives and reject him the next minute by our behaviours. How is the strength of our commitment to our faith? The times we have been unfaithful to Christ, we are just like the people cheering Jesus on Palm Sunday and turned the next day shouting that Jesus should be killed.
As Catholics, it is good for us to go beyond the physical events or activities that we do in the church today, we should always look for the meaning, why we do the things we do and how it is important to us.
Holy Week- It is Holy Week because of the events that lead to our salvation. Jesus accepted willingly, suffered and died for us on the cross, that is a special and holy thing to do. Also, these events made it special and holy since the suffering and dead of Jesus was in a week, therefore, that made it a Holy Week. We can say it is a terrible, horrific week but for a good reason. Imagine, someone who has all the powers but allowed himself to suffer and die for others! We can say all about the person is holy and special.
These events that made up Holy week are:
Holy Thursday – It is holy because it is special last meal Jesus had with his disciples. He gave himself for them, us as bread and wine, this is holy and secret, something that they, we should keep and remember him. We do remember our last time with our loved ones who are no more alive, we keep that day special and holy because of their words, actions towards us at that particular time and day.Tiv Peopel we value so much that time. It was the same in the case of Jesus and his disciple and they pass on that to us. Also, Jesus washed his disciple’s feet, He showed them how to treat others, how to be kind and welcoming. I whether how many of us, leaders, priests, religious, lay faithful are doing that!
Good Friday – It is good because Jesus willingly, freely, offered himself for us, died on the cross so that we can be free; we are free from original sin. It is a day of mourning but we don’t look at the terrible and horrible way Jesus died but we look at the good He did, we meditate on Jesus' suffering and death on the cross, and what this means for our faith. How we are free from the original sin of Adam and Eve. This is the most solemn and most important day of Holy Week.
Holy Saturday – It is holy because this day we remember Jesus’ burial. We do some reflection about his life. And in the night we have an Easter vigil, the night of Holy Saturday. We wait and watch, hopeful and confident that Christ will return at midnight. On that night we lit outside the candle and carried into the church, in darkness, which means the darkness of Christ's tomb. Paschal candle is kept for baptism to remind us of our baptism, death, and rebirth with Christ.
Easter is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most important Christian festival, and the one celebrated with the greatest joy because Jesus is alive, with us always!