Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter
. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter. It can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10. According to the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent forty days fasting in the desert before the beginning of his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of this forty day liturgical period of prayer and fasting. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the foreheads of adherents as a sign of mourning and repentance to God. The ashes used are typically gathered after the palms from the previous year's Palm Sunday are burned. This practice is common in much of Christendom, being celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Presbyterians, and some Baptist denominations
Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter. In Western Christianity, Ash Wednesday marks the first day, or the start of the season of Lent, which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count). Lent is a time when many Christians prepare for Easter by observing a period of fasting,repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. The purpose is to set aside time for reflection on Jesus Christ - his suffering and his sacrifice, his life, death, burial and resurrection.
The Easter triduum. and the sacrament of Christ’s love for his church is received. reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil. killed and eaten by the people. so sorrowful and so joyful.
The Good Friday rites center around the reading of the Passion of Jesus. his passion. In the love Christ showed for a sinful world we find the beginning of our church. the Easter Vigil
Meditations on the Triduum by Victor Hoagland. the church learns the deepest lessons. according to the Old Testament account read from Exodus this evening. Nowhere else does God’s love appear so vividly. he is a sign of God’s salvation. followed by prayers for the entire world. C. From the events remembered these days.P. It begins with the evening Mass of Holy Thursday.His command to serve others is dramatically recalled this night in the ceremony of the washing of the feet. With simple dignity that story is retold. the key to understanding the human story. which he performed in the supper room for his disciples.
. for this powerful mystery brings blessings to the world. and closes on Easter Sunday evening. And we discover the answer to age old questions: Does God love us? Is God merciful? Does God care for us? We have only to look and learn from Jesus Christ. Prepared by the days of Lent. his rising from the dead. These are days for fixing our eyes on the holy mystery of his cross and filling our ears with the words of his gospel. the source of our sacraments. Like the Paschal lamb. It is a day of fasting and quiet mourning. when Jesus sacramentally anticipated the gift he would make of himself on the cross. is the most important time of the church year. According to ancient tradition.The Easter Triduum: Holy Thursday. and our hope for eternal life. marking the days of Jesus’ passion and resurrection. an image or relic of the cross is venerated this day. In rites and words the mysteries of Jesus’ final hours are with us again. Good Friday.
The Easter Triduum begins with Mass on Holy Thursday evening. his cruel suffering. Christians celebrate on these holiest of days the saving work God has accomplished in Christ.
. is a sign of Christ. a candle has been lit. rites and readings. a fire is enkindled in our hearts. when the sun offers new warmth and earth is ready to flower again. All creation celebrates God’s love. signifying “the east”. our Easter celebration coincides with the beginning of spring. Like the Jewish Passover. from creation to the the redemption of Israel from Egypt. has been overcome by light. The darkness. “the light of the world. Rejoice! This night says as it brings before us the deepest symbols of our hopes and fears. the church in worship expresses her faith in the mystery that brings her into being. freshly proclaims God’s promise of life. The blessed water sprinkled over others signifies the blessing of new life.The Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil is the high point of the Easter triduum celebrating the passion and resurrection of Jesus. “lengthening days”) and “Easter” (possibly Germanic or Anglo-Saxon in origin. carried with loving reverence and lyrically praised in word and song. as a new Adam. sign of evil and death.
God’s love endures forever
A series of readings recalls the great interventions of God in history. “the rising sun”) point to the long tradition of seeing this holy mystery through signs of the natural world. and ends with the story of Jesus’ resurrection.” and celebrates the victory of light over darkness that humanity has ever longed for. A lamp. a baptism destroys what is unclean and brings to life again. The candle. Those preparing for Batpism then receive the sacraments of initiation.
Light conquers darkness
The vigil opens with a service of light. With a rich display of symbols. The lighting of the fire and the Easter candle go back to rites that long preceded Christianity. Rejoice! this night says to all creation. a nourishing water flows through our lives. The great “alleluia” proclaims with quiet joy the triumph of God’s Son. The Word who made all things. Our words “lent” (from the Middle-English word for spring.
thus purchasing for all who believe in him. Christians believe. Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. As part of the Easter season. eternal life in Christ Jesus.On Easter Sunday. the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday. according to Scripture. Jesus Christ. or was raised from the dead. Through his death. It is typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches. burial. always the Friday just before Easter.
Jesus is condemned to death
Jesus carries His cross
Jesus falls the first time
Jesus meets his mother
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his cross
Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
Jesus falls the second time
Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem
. three days after his death on the cross. and resurrection. Jesus paid the penalty for sin. that Jesus came back to life.
Jesus falls a third time
Jesus’ clothes are taken away
Jesus is nailed to the cross
Jesus dies on the cross
The body of Jesus is taken down from the cross
Jesus is laid in the tomb