Holy Week

Next week is the last week of Lent and it is known as Holy Week, a very special time in our Catholic Year.

I would like to tell you something about Holy Week and share some thoughts with you about it as we enter this sacred time.

Holy Week tells the story of the last week in the life of Jesus. But it’s more than just telling a 2000 year old story.  Holy Week takes us on a journey! As we tell the story, we are invited to reflect on our own lives. We are invited to let the story of Jesus give us wisdom, guide us, and give us strength and courage too. We are invited into a relationship with Jesus who gives himself to us in love.

Holy Week begins this Sunday with Passion Sunday –  also known as Palm Sunday. On Passion Sunday we remember the great welcome and acclamation Jesus received when he entered Jerusalem. He went to Jerusalem, the holy city, to celebrate the Jewish Passover there, as was the Jewish custom.  The crowds gathered  for the Passover celebration and as they welcomed him as their hero…they waved branches of palm trees. So in all Catholic Churches on that day, we hear that story and we will be given palm leaves.

It’s also called Passion Sunday because that great acclamation didn’t last.  As the week progressed the mood of the crowds changed into cries for Jesus’ death.

And so we come to Holy Thursday.

This is a very beautiful time in the week and the Holy Thursday evening Eucharist is a most moving celebration. We tell the story of the Last Supper, we remember the way Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, and of course we celebrate, as we always do in every Eucharist, his giving of himself in love to us.  We remember his complete faithfulness to God…a love and faithfulness that would not let him run away from what was to come.  And we remember his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane…his fear, his prayer to God to spare him from suffering…but finally his surrender to God, in complete trust in God, no matter what would happen.

On Good Friday we tell the story of the passion (the suffering) and the dying of Jesus.  And as we do this, we reflect on this story and we are invited to let it speak to us, to touch our hearts, to lead us into a way of living and loving and facing life as Jesus did, with faith in God’s presence with us through it all.

Easter Sunday (or the Vigil on Saturday evening) is when we celebrate resurrection. What is the message of resurrection for us?   Well, this is it:

Life is stronger than death.  

The life of God in Jesus, and in us, is stronger than anything, even death.

So, what can you do in Holy Week?  If we let ourselves enter into all these stories and celebrations, we will find that we are thinking about some very important things in life.  We will discover something about our human experiences:  we all face difficult things, we all experience pain, suffering and fear.  We will discover just how this wonderful Presence of God is with us always…even in suffering. We will see that love lived so fully by Jesus. And we will be invited to ask ourselves this question:

What does it mean for me to walk this path?

Let us not lose sight of Jesus, who leads us in our faith.

 Hebrews 12:12

 

I hope this will be a beautiful and holy time for you all and that you will be filled with the riches of God’s grace.

Below are the times of the Holy Week and Easter services in some of the local parishes.

 

Ms Kerry McCullough

Spirituality and Liturgy Coordinator

 

Parish

Holy Thursday

Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Good Friday

Stations of the Cross

Good Friday

The Passion of our Lord

Saturday Evening Vigil

Sunday

Resurrection of the Lord

Holy Name Wahroonga 7:00pm 10:00am 3:00pm 7:00pm 9:15am

5:30pm

OLOR Cathedral Waitara 8:00pm 10:00am 3:00pm 8:00pm 8:00am

9:30am

6:00pm

St Agatha’s Pennant Hills 7:30pm 10:00am 3:00pm 7:00pm 7:30am

9:00am

10:30am

6:00pm

St Patrick’s Asquith 7:30pm 10:00am 3:00pm 7:00pm 8:00am

10:00am

Sacred Heart Pymble 7:30pm 10:30am 3:00pm 7:00pm 7:45am

9:30am

6:00pm

Queen of Peace Normanhurst 6:00pm 12:00pm 5:30pm 8:30pm (Korean) 7:00am

9:00am

St Bernadette’s Castle Hill 7:30pm 9:30am

12:00pm

3:00pm 6:00pm 7:30am

9:00am

10:30am

6:00pm

St Michael’s

Baulkham Hills

 

7:30pm 10:00am 3:00pm 7:00pm 8:00am

10:00am

6:00pm