Posts Tagged ‘Good Friday’

Palm Sunday (or Passion Sunday)

English: Description: Left Apsis: Jesus enteri...

English: Description: Left Apsis: Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Fresco in the Parish Church of Zirl, Austria. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Holy week begins with the sixth Sunday in Lent. This Sunday observes the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that was marked by the crowds who were in Jerusalem for Passover waving palm branches and proclaiming him as the messianic king. The Gospels tell us that Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, enacting the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 and in so doing emphasized the humility that was to characterize the Kingdom he proclaimed. The irony of his acceptance as the new Davidic King (Mark 11:10) by the crowds who would only five days later cry for his execution should be a sobering reminder of the human tendency to want God on our own terms.

Traditionally, worshippers enact the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem by the waving of palm branches and singing songs of celebration. Sometimes this is accompanied by a processional into the church.

This Sunday is also known as Passion Sunday to commemorate the beginning of Holy Week and Jesus’ final agonising journey to the Cross. The English word passion comes from a Latin word that means ‘to suffer,’ the same word from which we derive the English word patient.

In most Protestant traditions, the liturgical colour for The Season of Lent is purple, and that colour is used until Easter Sunday. In Catholic tradition (and some others), the colours are changed to Red for Palm Sunday. Red is the colour of the church, used for Pentecost as well as remembering the martyrs of the church. Since it symbolizes shed blood, it is also used on Palm Sunday to symbolize the death of Jesus. While most Protestants celebrate the Sunday before Easter as Palm Sunday, in Catholic and other church traditions it is also celebrated as Passion Sunday anticipating the impending death of Jesus. In some Church traditions (Anglican), the church colours are changed to red for the fifth Sunday in Lent, with the last two Sundays observed as Passiontide.

Increasingly, many churches are incorporating an emphasis on the Passion of Jesus into services on Palm Sunday as a way to balance the celebration of Easter Sunday.”

Ash Wednesday

English: Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 c...

English: Ash Wednesday, watercolor, 78 x 113 cm (detail) Polski: Popielec, akwarela, karton, 78 x 113 cm (frag.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Originating in the fourth century of the church, the season of Lent spans 40 weekdays beginning on Ash Wednesday and climaxing during Holy Week with Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, and concluding Saturday before Easter. Originally, Lent was the time of preparation for those who were to be baptized, a time of concentrated study and prayer before their baptism at the Easter Vigil, the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord early on Easter Sunday. Today, Lent is marked by a time of prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter.

Good Friday

Jesus, on the cross, is mocked in Calvary as t...

Jesus, on the cross, is mocked in Calvary as the King of the Jews, Luke 23:36-37 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good Friday is a holiday observed by most of Christianity. It is a religious holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday, or Easter Friday, though the last term properly refers to the Friday in Easter Week.

Based on the details of the canonical gospels, the crucifixion of Jesus was most likely to have been on a Friday (the day before the Jewish Sabbath) (John:19:42). The estimated year of the Crucifixion is AD 33, by two different groups, and originally as AD 34 by Isaac Newton via the differences between the Biblical and Julian calendars and the crescent of the moon. A third method, using a completely different astronomical approach based on a lunar Crucifixion darkness and eclipse model (consistent with Apostle Peter‘s reference to a “moon of blood” in Acts 2:20), points to Friday, 3 April AD 33.

Some governments have laws prohibiting certain acts that are seen as profaning the solemn nature of the day.

 

 

Ascension Day

English: Ascension of Christ

English: Ascension of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ascension Day celebrates Jesus’ ascension to heaven after he was resurrected on Easter Day. On Good Friday, Jesus died on the cross. On Easter Sunday, the tomb was found empty. During the forty days which followed that first Easter, Jesus kept appearing to his followers. Ascension Day marks the last appearance of Jesus to the disciples after his resurrection at Easter. The name ‘ascension’ comes from the accounts in the Bible in Mark’s Gospel and Luke’s Gospel that tell of Jesus being taken up into heaven – he ascended. Jesus told his disciples that he would always be with them, and promised them the gift of the Holy Spirit (at Pentecost).

Ascension Day is the 40th day after Easter Sunday and always falls on a Thursday (hence its other name Holy Thursday). It marks the end of Rogation tide.”

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