The forty days of preparation for Easter comes to a close on Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week which focuses on the passion of our Lord Jesus. The mood of this day is a mixture of triumph and tragedy. We observe both Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem as well as his death on the cross.
Maundy Thursday recalls Jesus’ example of loving service and his institution of the eucharist during the Last Supper in the upper room. Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum which means command. It refers to Jesus’ words at the Last Supper, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” Holy Communion will be celebrated and at the conclusion, the altar will be stripped in preparation for the austerity of Good Friday.
The name Good Friday was probably “God’s Friday“. The altar remains bare of linens except for a black parament. We will observe a Service of Silence again this year with a drop in and drop out meditation from Noon till 3 p.m. and an evening service at 7 p.m.
Easter is always the first Sunday that follows the full moon right after the Spring Equinox. Easter preparations are made with white paraments. The Pascal candle which was extinguished during Lent will be relit.