Holy Week and Easter Catechesis


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What a wonderful tradition the Catholic Church has from its history, liturgy and faith. Praise be to you God the Holy Spirit for your continued guidance and inspiration to the Holy Catholic Church. :-)

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  • If cannot understand the symbols nor what we do and why we do this rites and liturgies we cannot participate well.
  • Time Line
  • The HOLY WEEK has a very special dignity in the liturgical year for it leads us to the high point of the whole liturgical year, the PASCHAL TRIDUUM.This HOLY WEEK celebration has its HISTORICAL ROOTS in the EARLY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY in JERUSALEM wherein they set aside a period of 6 days to FAST/PRAY accompanied by the VISITATION of the HOLY PLACES in the HOLY CITY of JERUSALEM….WE ADAPTED it using some of its LITURGY and PRAYERS.HOLY WEEK is not just about ACTIVITIES but rather it is about a LOVING RELATIONSHIP about a FAITHFUL GOD and UNFAITHFUL CREATURES.
  • 1. (Dominica in Palmis de PassioneDomine) – Palm Sunday of the Passion of Christ – an old name we can trace to the GELASIAN SACRAMENTARY way back 7th century.it expresses well the 2 distinct parts of the liturgy 1. messianic entrance and 2. the Passion of the Lord. 2. It only gives a ONE SIDED EMPHASIS only the PASSION. 5th Sunday itodatinoong may passiontide pa prior to the reform of Vatican II3. It omits the PASSION and ONLY focuses on the GLORIOUS RESSURECTION. 4. Not well known but the official document “Roman Calendar refers to it as the Palm Sunday”. unluckily it does not represent nor expresses the specific aspect of the MYSTERY of CHRIST this SUNDAY.
  • Double character of LENT?Preparation of the catechumens – awaiting the reception of baptismRenewal of Baptismal promises – by the baptized(relate to ADVENT two fold character – the first coming of Jesus and the 2nd coming of Jesus)
  • We are a PILGRIM CHURCH, there must be a HOLY RESTLESSNESS to do everything we can to ALLOW others ENCOUNTER the CHRIST that we have ENCOUNTERED in our CHRISTIAN FAITH. (CHRIST IS ALWAYS WITH US…nakikilakbayang DIYOS saKanyang BAYAN at SIMBAHAN)Contrast of LIFE/DEATH, ACCEPTANCE/REJECTION is PRESENT in the LIFE of CHRIST SO ALSO BE in the LIFE of a CHRISTIAN. (we cannot separate ourselves from the CROSS this is MYSTERY…not because we cannot UNDERSTAND IT, but RATHER we cannot have full grasped of it.) HINDI natataposanglahatsa BIYERNES SANTO, bagkus ay may MULING PAGKABUHAY na NAG-AANTAY saATIN…sabawatsuliranin ay may nag-aantaynasolusyunangDiyos, sabawatpagdududaangDiyos ay may Pangako at sabawathinaing o panaghoyngatingmgapuso, may DIYOS nanakikinig at kakalkbaynatin.
  • Fullness of the priesthood? – because the Bishops has this Apostolic Succession when they were Consecrated as Bishops. Consecrates Vs. Blesses Consecrates the OIL of CHRISM – used during Baptism, Confirmation, Ordination and dedication of the a church or an altar. (this OIL AFFECTS a GREAT DIGNITY within us that is why its is not just blessed but CONSECRATED.(kasama pa ngaparipagdarasaljan eh) 3 kinds of OILOil of Chrism – (BLESSING by the BISHOP and as well as the PRIEST present)Oil for the Sick – formula “may be freed from pPAIN and ILLNESS and made WELL again in BODY, MIND and SOUL.” CLEARLY this is not a SACRAMENT nor an OIL for the DEAD. (BLESSING by the BISHOP ALONE)3. Oil for the Catechumens- fourfold petition is asked (wisdom/strenght, new life, deeper understanding of the Gospel, courage to accept the challenge of Christian life.)
  • TIME LINE – THURSDAY EVENING it is the start of the PASCHAL TRIDUUM we enter into the MOST SOLEMN and HOLY mysteries of the Salvation history. HOLY EXCHANGE – Sa Diyostayonagkautang, dapatkatumbas din ngDiyosangibabayadnatin, angangpambayadutangnatin ay DIYOS din, si HESUS. The seemingly defeat of Jesus by turned into TRIUMPH over SIN and DEATH accomplished through HIS GLORIOUS RESSURECTION after 3 days.
  • The 2 are interconnected – the Eucharist as a memorial meal with the commandment to LOVE/SERVE washing of the feet and /sacrifice on the cross a historical event.1st Reading: Ex. 12 – Passover Meal in the OT2nd Reading: 1 Cor. 11 – earliest account of the NT Passover MealGospel: John 13 – washing of the feet: commandment to love/humble service to one another.
  • The LAST SUPPER is the model of Holy Eucharist where Christ has instituted it making his body and blood as the sacrificial offering. The memorial of HIS DEATH and RESSURECTION and the ACTUAL event is HIS PASSION and DEATH on the CROSS. The command “to this in remembrance of me…” this is also the COMMISIONING to celebrate the Eucharist to unite the people under the ONE SACRIFICE of JESUS on the CROSS. .. (Ven. Fulton Sheen..”I am studying to be a priest victim” servant leadership. The great and new commandment to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. (washing of the feet and the collection for the poor)
  • 1. TIMING-it must be 3 oclockor for pastoral reasons it can be moved but not later than 9pm. Faithful to the gospelstories that the death of Christ happened in this hour.RED – vestment color – Christ is the 1st Martyr- prior to Vat. 2 it was BLACKRED is the color of the KING – rememeber Palm Sunday? RED because in the gospel it is said that “they put a SCARLET robe upon Jesus”PROSTRATION in SILENCE – symbol of DEEPEST HUMILITY and ADORATION. (hindi ka langlumuhod (making ourselves tiny) talagangnagpatirapa ka (making ourselves USELESS and NOTHING in the PRESENCE of GOD)2. Readings is about the suffering servant in Isaiah 52 and in the 2nd reading Hebrews 4 – about the Great/High PRIEST Jesus offered the most IMPORTANT SACRIFICE to REDEEMED the sinful humanity. Gospel – from JOHN 18 (death He freely accepted- this is the motivation of JESUS HUMBLY ACCEPTING DEATH even DEATH on the CROSS…for the one reason HE LOVES and OBEYS the FATHER.)3. We VENERATE the CROSS because the CROSS is not just a symbol of humiliation and death of JESUS, but BY and THROUGH the CROSS the LOVE of GOD and the PLAN of SALVATION was carried out. 4. We receive the communion from the HOST consecrated during the EVENING MASS of the LORDS PASSION (Thursday)…this will symbolized that the HOLY THURSDAY and GOOD FRIDAY CELEBRATION is CONNECTED.
  • By tradition we believe that JESUS RESTED from his work and from his sufferings, but the tomb cannot contain him he left it on the 3rd day and rose victor over death. (it affects us as well as we REFLECT/PRAY over this event…the TOMB is not our FINAL DESTINATION but just a RESTING PLACE as we AWAIT Christ on the RESSURECTION of the DEAD. )That is why we coined the word CEMETERY from the GREEK word koimasthaiwhich means (a place to rest and sleep)The FAITH that DEATH and BURIAL is only a PASSAGEWAY to REAL and UNENDING LIFE was very strong in the early Christians, facing death HAPPILY.2. (CREED) He descended into HELL and rose again on the 3rd day - HELL is not the place where the condemned is, but hell in this context is in the “abode of the dead” - the REDEMPTIVE WORK of CHRIST AFFECTS ALL peoples of all times, places, even before the beginning of humankind…that the PROPHETS of the OT awaits for HIM as their REDEEMER and LIBERATOR.
  • Paschais the Greek of the Hebrew Passover.From SLAVERY to FREEDOM (the Israelites)– From DEATH to LIFE ( the Christ) – From UNBAPTIZED to BAPTIZED (the Christian) Vigilare – Latin word for “to keep awake or to watch”There were various interpretations about this term but acceptable for me is this… The risen Christ is compared to the Rising Sun which expels the darkness of the night and brings about light and warmth. God created the world during the night.Passover of the Israelites were done during the night.The Messiah was born as a promised fulfilled happened during the night.
  • Service of Light – a DECLARATION shown in our words/symbolic actions that DARKNESS has been OVERCOME by the LIGHT of CHRIST. (exsultet/lighting of candles)Lit. of the Word – PROCLAMATION combined with meditations and prayer (we hear of various PASSOVER and NEW CREATION brought by GOD. Lit .of Baptism – APPLICATION after DECLARATION of the TRIUMPHED of CHRIST over DEATH/SIN, after we heard of the PROCLAIMATION of the NEW CREATION and PASSING OVER we now APPLY IT in OUR LIVES. (catechumens passes over FROM BEING A non CHRISTIAN to FOLLOWERS of CHRIST. The CHRISTIANS or BAPRIZED RECALL the GREAT GIFT of BAPTISM given to them by GOD. Lit. of the Eucharist – THANKSGIVING for the GREAT DEEDS of GOD, especially for HIS PASSION, DEATH and RESSURECTION, wherein we share with Him by VIRTUE of OUR BAPTISM.
  • Holy Week and Easter Catechesis

    1. 1. General Knowledge•Lent starts from Ash Wednesday and it ends on theevening of the Lords Supper.•Holy Week starts from Palm Sunday of the LordsPassion until the vespers of the Easter Sunday of theResurrection of the Lord.•Paschal Triduum starts from the Evening of theLords Supper until the vespers of Sunday, thehighlight or the center of this Triduum is the EasterVigil.•Pentecost fifty days of joyous celebration beginsEaster Sunday and concludes on Pentecost Sunday.
    2. 2. Holy Week – is the celebration wherein theChurch celebrates the mysteries of salvationaccomplished by Christ in the last days of hisearthly life, from his messianic entry intoJerusalem, until his blessed Passion andglorious Resurrection. Historical Names of Holy Week• Paschal Week• Greater Week• Week of the Lords Passion• Week of the Sorrowing
    3. 3. PALM SUNDAY – is the grand opening of theHoly Week, commemorating the messianic entryof Jesus in Jerusalem as King and theproclamation of His passion. Historical Names of Palm Sunday• “Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Christ”• “Passion Sunday”• “Palm Sunday”• “Sixth Sunday of Lent”
    4. 4. Holy Week The weekdays of this week are dedicated to the celebration of penance, abstaining from celebration of the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, since these have their natural place in the Easter Vigil. The Rites of the Holy Week• Blessing and Procession of Palms• Transfer of the Blessed Sacrament (Holy Thursday)• Celebration of the Lord’s Passion• Easter Vigil
    5. 5. Spiritual Content/Message of Palm Sunday1. The procession shows that we are on our way to Him all our life. We are just “travelers or passing through” this earth going to our heavenly homeland.2. The contrast of glory and passion in todays liturgy is a picture and an image of human and especially Christian life.3. Palm Sunday is the beginning of the week dedicated to the commemoration and mediation of the passion of Christ but leading up to Easter.
    6. 6. Holy Thursday – Chrism Mass•The Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of thefullness of the Bishops priesthood and signifies the close unityof the priests with him.• During this mass the Bishop consecrates the Chrism andblesses the other oils. 3 Kinds of Oil during the Chrism Mass1. Oil of Chrism2. Oil for the Sick3. Oil for the Catechumens
    7. 7. The Sacred Paschal Triduum• Christ accomplished his work of humanredemption and of the perfect glorification of Godprincipally through his Paschal Mystery. “Dying Hehas destroyed death, and by rising restoredour life.”• The Paschal Triduum of the Passion andResurrection of the Lord shines forth as a high pointof the entire liturgical year.
    8. 8. The Sacred Paschal Triduum• The 2 major liturgical celebrations mark the first day ofthe Triduum:1. Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (Thursday)2. Lord’s Passion on Good Friday-The two liturgies are celebrated on one and the same day, reminds us of the intimate connection between the Eucharist and the Sacrifice on the Cross.
    9. 9. The Sacred Paschal Triduum Content and Message of Holy Thursday EveningChrist instituted the 3 principal mysteries such as;1. The institution of the Holy Eucharist.2. The Institution of the Priesthood.3. The new commandment of Love.
    10. 10. -It is the commemoration of the passion and death of Jesuswhich was the passage way to his glory and exaltation. Liturgies of Good FridayIt is divided in 4 parts;1. The Opening Rite2. Liturgy of the Word3. Veneration of the Cross4. CommunionService
    11. 11. -It has its special character, marked with a quite day,paschal fast and had no liturgy of its own.-The church awaits at the Lord’s tomb in prayer andfasting, meditating on his Passion and Death and onhis Descent into Hell and awaiting his Resurrection. 2 Mysteries of Holy Saturday1. The Rest of Jesus in the tomb2. The Descent of Jesus to the Dead
    12. 12. -The 3rd day of the Paschal Triduum we reach the high pointof the Liturgical Year. “What Sunday is to the week, thesolemnity of Easter is to the liturgical year.” Various Names of Easter Vigil1. “Paschal Vigil”2. “Easter Vigil”
    13. 13. The Liturgy of the Easter Vigil1. The Service of Light (Blessing of Fire, Lighting of the Paschal Candle, Procession and Easter proclamation)2. The Liturgy of the Word (9 Readings – 7 OT/2 NT)3. The Liturgy of Baptism (Litany of Saints, Blessing of Water, Baptism, Renewal of Baptismal promises, sprinkling of baptismal water, No Creed but Prayers of the Faithful)4. Liturgy of the Eucharist (Offertory by the converts, double Alleluia at the Dismissal)