By Contributor Tracy Bua Smith
Yesterday was Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, and it’s exactly one week before Easter Sunday. Each Palm Sunday, Catholic Churches hand out blessed palm branches to the congregation. The above picture are palms from last year that we made into a cross.
Did you know that the ashes from Ash Wednesday come from the burnt palms from last year’s Palm Sunday? About.com Catholicism states this about Palm Sunday, “Palm Sunday commemorates the triumphal entrance of Christ into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-9), when palm branches were placed in His path, before His arrest on Holy Thursday and His Crucifixion on Good Friday. It thus marks the beginning of Holy Week, the final week of Lent, and the week in which Christians celebrate the mystery of their salvation through Christ’s Death and His Resurrection on Easter Sunday.”
Here is a Palm Sunday collage video I wanted to share: (the resolution isn’t the best, but the messages and images are still beautiful)
The three holiest days of the Catholic church’s calendar are coming up on this Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. These three holy days are called the Easter Triduum. This is a special time in our family’s life, not only because we remember Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.
But also it was six years ago at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday that my husband and his cousin, Sharon, entered into full communion with the Catholic Church. Here we are just before this special Mass began.
My husband was baptized a Baptist, but he attended Mass with me while dating, when we were newlyweds, and when we had our three older children. His cousin, Sharon, visited many churches during her lifetime. After 50-plus years of praying and searching, she realized what she was missing all her life was receiving Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity in the Holy Eucharist. (John 6: 48-68)
It was a blessing and a glorious day to see my husband and Sharon enter the Catholic Church at Easter in 2006! Sharon was a saint here on earth, and now she is in heaven since 2007 when her 5-year battle with lung cancer took her away to be with Jesus and Mary’s loving and awaiting arms. Her son, Patrick, followed her seven months later. We miss Sharon and Patrick so much, but we are comforted that Sharon is no longer fighting her cancer, and Patrick is running freely in heaven after being in a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy during his 21 years of life.
May you and your family and friends have a blessed Holy Week and Easter!