Holy Week is the final week of the liturgical season of Lent (the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter). To intentionally set aside time to reflect or practice your faith during Holy Week is to journey through the final week of Jesus’ life, to accompany Jesus through his most trying hours, contemplating the events that lead us to Easter. It is a call to remember, and possibly to remember in real and tangible ways.
Breaking down the word “remember,” we are setting aside time and actions to “be mindful again.”
“re” – again
“memorari” – to be mindful of
Being “mindful” offers more than just quick thought or mental note.
Your mind is the element of you that enables you to be aware of the world, of your experiences, to think, to feel. To be “mindful” is to “full of” or “characterized by.” To remember is to glance back at a portion of something that shapes you. We all know the power of a memory. Or hopefully we have at least seen Disney/Pixar’s “Inside Out.” It’s more than just a blip on your mind’s radar, it’s more like a brick that underpins a facet of how you experience life. That’s why we spend so much time processing, or so much energy covering up, the memories that seem to linger in challenging ways. In our lives there are memories we would rather avoid and there are memories we reference as cherished.
Holy Week invites us to remember the story of Easter, while requiring us to acknowledge the depth and darkness of Good Friday, and several moments in between. We move from praise and triumph, to betrayal and defeat, to sunrise and reception. Perhaps this one week encapsulates our own stories in some shape or form.
Over the next week I will post a short daily thought along with some options for your own practice and reflection, and where possible share insight into the history and tradition of the day. We will start this coming Sunday, the 28th with Palm Sunday or The Triumphal Entry. If you can, make a plan to carve out time each day to practice your own personal Holy Week. Set a reminder on your phone, or make a meeting with yourself on your calendar for each day, offering yourself an invitation to remember. The story may be familiar but I would imagine God still has new things to say.
I’ll see you Sunday!
A few moments that might require a little extra planning or supplies in terms of the optional practices/traditions:
Thursday – set a table for 13, if you can gather 12 additional friends (I promise you don’t have to say anything or do anything odd, they don’t even need to know why you gathered them, just host a meal. We will talk about why on Thursday.)
Friday – pick a room with windows if available and be prepared to cover those windows with black pasteboard as part of Friday’s practice.