This coming week, the church throughout the world celebrates Holy Week. During Holy Week, the church celebrates the mysteries of salvation accomplished by Christ in the last days of His life on earth, beginning with His messianic entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
Holy Week reaches its climax during the three days called “The Paschal (or Easter) Triduum,” the celebration of the Paschal Mystery, the passing of the Lord Jesus from this world to His Father. The Paschal Triduum begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday and ends with Vespers of Easter Sunday. Good Friday, the day of Our Lord’s death on the cross, is a day of fasting and abstinence.
“On Holy Saturday, the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb in prayer and fasting, meditating on His Passion and Death and on His Descent into Hell, and awaiting His Resurrection” (Roman Missal) On Holy Saturday night, the church keeps vigil. The Mass of the Easter Vigil, which can only be celebrated after sunset, begins the celebration of the Resurrection of the Lord.
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