Sunday, April 1, 2007

Holy Week

Holy Week

The Church Year finds its high point and center in Holy Week, when we celebrate the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord. No other week of the Church Year is celebrated with such solemnity, devotion, and reverence. No other week deserves the name Holy Week alongside those days in which the church accompanies her Lord on His way to the cross and to the grave and rejoices in His victory over death. It is the week toward which the entire church year moves and from which it receives its meaning and content. During this time, the church's services crowd together as she sings her most earnest laments and her songs of penitence and then again rejoices most heartily in His victory.

The journey of Christ to the cross draws close to it's fulfillment as our Lord's Passion begins when He enters Jerusalem in triumphal procession. The palms of Palm Sunday greet the Victor who by His death frees His people. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of Holy Week we continue to prayerfully reflect on our Lord's Passion, we meditate on the events which took place leading to the cross, and we petition our Father in heaven to hear the cries of His people and prepare our hearts. Our worship is heightened during the last three days of the week, the "Holy of Holies" of Holy Week, as we commemorate our Lord's first institution of the His Holy Supper (Maundy Thursday), His betrayal, and then walk with Him anew to the Holy Cross of Calvary (Good Friday). Though Good Friday is the high point of Holy Week it is not the high point of the Church Year, as on Holy Saturday evening our sorrow gives way to Easter joy!

During this week, we do not worship as a sort of historical society simply commemorating past events but rather we adore Jesus Christ as our true King, who is not humbled by His passion and cross but rather glorified and exalted through them, and who will soon be revealed as the victor over sin, death, and hell. Thus, through all the lamentation and sadness there is also solid trust, unwavering hope and joyful thankfulness as we await His, and thereby our, victory!

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