Holy Week is one of my favorite weeks of the liturgical year. It’s filled with sadness, loss, grief……but, also, hope. I can’t go through a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service without crying. The Lenten season was when my daughter first received communion. It’s when I’m reminded that it’s my sins that nailed Him to the cross.But, oh, the hope. The hope and good news that it did not end in death but in life. The hope that, while we grieve today, Sunday is coming. The stone will be rolled away, and the tomb will be empty. Death will not defeat Him.
I also love Holy Week because of the tradition it’s saturated in. Growing up in a Catholic/Methodist household (and now raising our children in one), I was exposed to various traditions but one god. The differences are very, very subtle. I’ve been asked recently what Holy Week is all about. It’s about the remembrance of the sacrifice that was given for you and for me. It’s the final preparation of our hearts for the coming of Easter, as we’ve been preparing since Ash Wednesday.
Maundy Thursday remembers the Last Supper, with Jesus and His disciples. At St. James last night, the feet of 12 attendees were washed by the priest, something that I’ve seen at Methodist services, as well. We partake in communion and leave somberly, acknowledging what happened on that Good Friday so long ago.
Today is Good Friday, and today across the world, His death is remembered. We remember the betrayal of Judas. We remember his forgiveness of the sinner on the cross next to him. We remember His words of “it is finished” and His side that was pierced.
It was as if the world was left with no hope. Today we mourn but never forget. Sunday is coming.