Background On Holy Week 2013
The last day of lent and a week before Easter is considered Holy Week in the Christian faith. Holy Week 2013 includes Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Holy Thursday. It is celebrated, along with Easter Sunday, by all different sects of the Christian religion including; Latin Rite Catholicism, Eastern Christianity, Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Catholic Churches, and Protestant Churches.
How Each Sect Celebrates Holy Week
Many Protestants, as well as Anglicans/Episcopalians, and Lutherans focus on Holy Week and Easter Sunday as very important to celebratory practices they engage in. Protestants consider Passion Week as vital to the tradition and Anglicans consider Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday to be the most important.
As part of the Oriental Orthodoxy, the Coptic Orthodox Church observes Lent and fast 55 days before Holy Week. There is a celebration called “the concluding Friday of great Lent” and this is celebrated the Friday before Palm Sunday. The day after is referred to as “Lazarus” day and it is celebrated on the Saturday before Palm Sunday.
Great Lent ends the Friday before Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church. It is called the “Great and Holy Week” and the fasting that occurs during the week is extreme. There is no dairy or meat products allowed during “Great and Holy Week” and there is no oil used in the cooking process or alcoholic beverages to be consumed.
Latin Rite Catholicism
In Latin Rite Catholicism, Holy Week and Easter Sunday is of immense importance to the entire religion in general. There is a very important Mass held that includes a reading of the Passion and there is also a blessing ceremony outside with leaves. Readings of the gospel is customary as well as a very important church service. Good Friday is a fast day for Roman Catholic Christians and that includes only one full meal the entire day.
When is Holy Week 2013?
In 2013, it will begin on March 24 and end on March 30.