Christians around the world are celebrating “Holy Week,” which culminates in Easter this Sunday. During Holy Week, I normally take a point of personal privilege in this space to discuss my faith.
Easter is the most significant holiday of the Christian liturgical calendar, even more important than Christmas. Easter is synonymous with hope and rebirth and resurrection, since Christians believe Jesus Christ was crucified dead on the cross and buried, but rose again on the third day.
Easter is preceded by Lent, which starting with Ash Wednesday, when churches place a cross of ashes on the forehead as a symbol of repentance. Lent itself is 40 days, excluding Sundays, of sacrifice and self-denial.
As part of that Lenten observance, today is “Maundy Thursday,” or “Holy Thursday,” which is held in remembrance of the “Last Supper” Jesus had with his disciples before being betrayed and tried and put to death. And on the church calendar, Maundy Thursday ends Lent.
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter and is symbolic of the crucifixion of Jesus. Normally, I give up something for Lent, but the last couple of years I have been derelict. I also used to fast from sundown Good Friday until Easter lunch. Boy, was the Easter meal good when I finally got to eat it!
Of course, Holy Week actually begins with “Palm Sunday” or “Passion Sunday.” This year, inclement weather held church attendance down on Palm Sunday, although these days we have numerous ways to worship with a congregation, in addition to personal attendance, such as live streaming on the Internet, television and radio.
Let us hope the weather is better this Sunday because, traditionally, church attendance has been greater on Easter Sunday than just about any other day of the year.
The Easter season is a time of reflection and repentance about what a person could have done better during the past year and a commitment to better conduct the next.
I hear people complain that they don’t fully understand what is expected of us by the Bible. I am more like the man — I think it was Mark Twain — who said, “I am not nearly as worried about the part I do not understand, as I am the part that I do understand.”