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Journey into the Heart of GodLiving the Liturgical Year$
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Philip H. Pfatteicher

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199997121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199997121.001.0001

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The Great and Holy Week

The Great and Holy Week

(p.173) 6 The Great and Holy Week
Journey into the Heart of God

Philip H. Pfatteicher

Oxford University Press

Holy Week, celebrated with rich liturgical actions that enhance and reinforce the biblical texts,does not emphasize chronology, but instead a more comprehensive contemplation of the Passion of Christ. The dramatic procession with branches on Passion (Palm) Sunday anticipates the ultimate victory of Christ’s death;the liturgy itself is marked by the reading of the two-chapter passion account from a synoptic Gospel. The passage through death to life unfolds throughout the week: Monday presents Mary anointing the feet of Jesus in anticipation of his burial; Tuesday calls for glorying in the cross; Wednesday recalls the plotting against Jesus. The Triduum, one day made of three, begins Maundy Thursday evening: the washing of feet occurs, and after the Eucharist the altar is stripped; Good Friday has as its theme the complex meanings of the cross as set forth in St. John’s Passion, the solemn prayers, the veneration of the wood of the cross, and the distribution of Holy Communion;the Great Sabbath is liturgically empty until after sundown the Great Vigil begins with the service of fire, followed by the readings detailing the history of salvation, Holy Baptism, and the first Eucharist of Easter with the return of Alleluia.

Keywords:   holy Week, passion, palms, triduum, maundy Thursday, foot-washing, good Friday, sabbath, fire, alleluia

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