Holy Week 101

Holy Week 101


What is Holy Week?

Holy Week is the week preceding Easter. It is the last week of the season of Lent. In Holy Week, we follow the last days of Jesus’ life, from his entry into Jerusalem to his crucifixion to the days before his resurrection.

When did Christians start to observe Holy Week?

The earliest reference to Holy Week appears in 3rd and 4th century in a document called the Apostolic Constitutions. This document was intended to guide the early church leaders in the ordering of the Christian Church. In these early days, fasting from meat was recommended for the days of the week preceding Good Friday, when an absolute fast was recommended.

What are the special days of Holy Week?

The days of Holy Week especially observed are Palm (or Passion) Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter. (Easter is not actually a part of Holy Week, but starts the liturgical season of Easter.)

How can I observe Holy Week?

1. Participate in your congregation’s Holy Week services.

2. Follow Jesus’ journey through this week by reading the scriptures specified for each day of Holy Week. 

3. Reach out each day to someone who his hurting. Here are some suggested actions.

4. Read the Holy Week prayers. 

5. Read each day’s devotional from The Upper Room daily devotional guide.

6. Spend 5 minutes each day praying for others on The Upper Room’s prayer wall

7. Read “The Sting.” As we approach Easter, Will Penner invites us to practice something we don’t like to do — confronting the sin in our lives — so that we may ask for God's forgiveness and guidance as we seek to become more like Christ. 

8. If you have children in your household, try these suggestions from Pockets magazine.

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Lent 101 • Holy Week 101 • Palm Sunday 101
Maundy Thursday 101 • Good Friday 101 • Holy Saturday 101 • Easter 101