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Holy Week, celebrated in Christian denominations, commemorates the events leading up to and including the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It begins with Palm Sunday, which marks Jesus’ final entrance into Jerusalem. The following days are known as Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday, with specific liturgical traditions associated with these days in the Orthodox churches. Holy Wednesday, also called Spy Wednesday, focuses on the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. A Tenebrae service is typically offered on Spy Wednesday, reflecting on the Passion of Christ.

The Paschal Triduum, or Easter Triduum, is the shortest liturgical season of the year, lasting three days. It starts on Holy Thursday with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper and concludes on Easter Sunday evening. During the Triduum, bells are not used, and a wooden clacker may be used instead. Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, commemorates the Last Supper and the establishment of the Eucharist. Good Friday is the day of Jesus’ crucifixion, marked by fasting and abstinence from meat. It is a solemn day of reflection on Jesus’ sacrifice, with services that allow for veneration of the cross.

Holy Saturday, the day before Easter, is a time of contemplation before the celebration of Christ’s resurrection. The Easter Vigil is a significant service held after sundown on Holy Saturday, marking the end of Holy Saturday and leading into Easter Sunday. The singing of the Exsultet, an ancient hymn of triumph, highlights the victory of Christ over death. Easter Sunday is the holiest day of the year in Christianity, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is a day to renew baptismal promises and celebrate with great solemnity through Mass and liturgical music.

Easter Sunday is also a time for celebrating with symbols of rebirth, such as eggs and baby animals, as well as sweet treats like chocolates and candies. The tradition of exchanging Easter baskets dates back to 12th century Poland and typically includes foods that were avoided during Lent. It is a joyful day for Christians to rejoice in the victory of Christ over death. Throughout Holy Week, Christians engage in various services and traditions to reflect on the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. The observance of Holy Week differs among denominations but generally follows a similar structure of commemorating key events in the final days of Jesus’ life.

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