Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week. This is the week that recalls the events of Jesus’ life that led to our salvation, reaching its culmination with the celebration of Easter next Sunday. By calling this week holy, does that mean that the other weeks of the year are not holy? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that through our observance of this Holy Week, all the rest of the weeks of the year can be holy too.
This week gives us the opportunity to respond in concrete ways to our baptismal call to holiness. Not only are we called to personal holiness as people baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are also called to make the world holy. The world does not become holy automatically. It becomes holy as it is blessed by the holy lives of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ.
How might we make this Holy Week holy? By continuing our Lenten actions of prayer, fasting and giving to others. This week can be a time to gather our families in prayer, perhaps to say the rosary, to sing some Christian hymns, to pray for people we know, or people we know of through news of some tragic event in the bigger world. In our homes we could make space for an in-home altar, a special place in the living room or family room where we place a Bible, a candle, a statue of Mary or of a saint, some flowers, photos or art that call us to prayer. We can plan time to attend the special services this week, maybe the Chrism Mass on Monday, the beautiful Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday, the great Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night, Mass on Easter Sunday. We could invite a relative, friend, co-worker, classmate or neighbor to join us for one of these services of Holy Week here at Christ Cathedral.
The point of all of this is to make this week a little different from other weeks through the special ways we invite a bit of holiness into our lives and the lives of others. How wonderful to think of the many holy weeks ahead of us as the year unfolds because we made this Holy Week holy.
Together in faith,
Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector