Holy Week is a sacred time for us to remember and enter into the final week of Jesus’ life, specifically his Crucifixion and Resurrection. There are four days during Holy Week that have very special meaning: Palm Sunday, The Last Supper, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
When is Holy Week?
Holy Week takes place on different dates each year because the date of Easter changes. Easter is known as a moveable feast because it does not have a fixed date. For 2023, Holy Week starts on April 2nd and ends with Easter Sunday on April 9th.
Why Do We Celebrate Holy Week?
We celebrate Holy Week because it serves as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross—the sacrifice God made for us.
The significant days of Holy Week include:
Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, is always the Sunday before Easter. It honors the day Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey for Passover. Jesus was greeted with palms by the people of Jerusalem.
The Last Supper
Also known as Maundy Thursday, this day serves as a time during Holy Week for us to remember that Jesus broke bread and shared a meal with his disciples. The day also reminds us to love one another.
On Good Friday, we solemnly remember the crucifixion of Jesus. All Catholics are required to fast on this day (see the Good Friday fasting guidelines by the USCCB for more information), and there is not a single Mass celebrated at any time or place in the world on Good Friday.
The final day of Holy Week is Holy Saturday, which often includes a nighttime Mass for many Christians. This day honors Jesus laying in the tomb and descent into Hell following his crucifixion.
Easter Sunday is the day of Jesus' Resurrection. According to the Gospels, Jesus was raised from the dead by God three days after he was crucified. This day of jubilant celebration—the most important and joyous liturgical celebration in the Church—reminds us of forgiveness and new life in Christ.
What is the Difference Between Easter and Holy Week?
Easter Sunday is separate from Holy Week. The days of Holy Week lead up to Easter Sunday, which celebrates Jesus’ Resurrection.
Remember Holy Week All Year Long
In addition to attending Mass, show your love, devotion, and remembrance of Jesus with our Mini Crucifix Necklace. This lovely 14k gold filled necklace offers a constant reminder of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross—a sacrifice that He offered for us and invites us to participate in every single day.