Holy Week begins on Sunday. Are you ready?

On a normal Sunday, my family and I arrive a few minutes (or sometimes a few seconds) early for Mass. As we sit in our seats, each one of us has our own way to prepare for Mass. Whether with a prayer, saying hello to friends around us, looking over the readings for the day, or looking at the song sheet to see if we recognize or like the music, we all get settled in so we can be present for the next hour or so. The music signals the beginning of the Mass, and we stand.

As we arrive on Palm Sunday, however, it is clear that this Mass is different. Visually, the somber purple of Lent has been replaced with red. Red on the vestments of the priest, red in the flowers, and maybe even red draped on the crucifix. When the Church wears red, it symbolizes the blood of sacrifice, whether it is the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, or the sacrifice of martyrs who have given their lives for their faith. We are about to start joyfully, but we have an immediate reminder that this celebration is going to be short-lived. The clouds of sacrifice shadow the entry and we begin.

(Excerpted from Walking Through Holy Week)

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas