Holy Week begins on Sunday as we celebrate Palm Sunday. That gives you a few days to reflect on your traditions for this season. What do you usually do? What would you like to do?
My traditions are centered on the services held at the church. I start with the Palm Sunday Mass. But I have to admit that I’ve never mastered weaving palm crosses. I often decide against bringing the blessed palm home. But if you do bring it home, make sure that you give it an appropriate place in the house.
The first days of Holy Week are the final days of Lent and so time to bring your Lenten sacrifices to their culmination.
On Holy Thursday, Mass is in the evening as we recall the Last Supper. If you can, plan to remain a little while after Mass in silent prayer and adoration.
From the time I leave for Mass on Thursday, I try to keep as much silence as possible. I don’t turn the television on and I try to limit social media through Saturday night.
Friday — though a day of fasting — tends to be about food for me, because I prepare the food to go in my Easter basket. I make a special Easter bread called paska. It’s slightly sweet and made rich with eggs and milk. It also has to rise several times, so making it takes much of the day, though not in active work since the yeast does its magic without my help. That allows plenty of time for Good Friday services. I will also make a beet and horseradish relish called chrin. I hard boil eggs to dye later that night. I dye my eggs Good Friday evening so that they will be dry to go in the Easter basket.
Saturday morning I prepare the Easter basket so that I can take it to the church for the blessing at noon. Then it’s back home for a quick nap before the Easter Vigil. I haven’t missed a Vigil since 1982. It’s my favorite liturgy of the year. The Easter Vigil usually lasts several hours, so that nap comes in handy. Once I have celebrated the Vigil, it’s home to start my celebration, culminating in Easter dinner, when we eat all of the lovely things in that Easter basket!
Make sure to check back here after Easter for pictures on my basket and its contents!
How do you celebrate this Holy Week?