In Christendom, the Lenten season starts from Ash Wednesday – it marks the commencement of the forty-day Lent that leads to Easter Sunday. By observing the forty days of Lent, every Christian emulates Jesus’ abandonment into the wilderness for forty days. Customarily, in this day also starts the devout to fast by abstaining from meat during Lent. Usually, the anointment of ash crossed sign on the forehead during the Ash Wednesday signifies our existence on earth that says from where we’ve started we’ll end – from ashes to ashes, from dust to dust.
The feast of triumphal entry of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem is the Palm Sunday, and resumes the Holy Week on the day called Holy Monday. Traditionally, the Palm Sunday is characterizes by holding and waving the palm leaves or other native leaves in welcoming the entry of the Redeemer riding in a donkey, it symbolizes peace instead of riding in a horse that rode in wars.
The Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus Christ’s Last Supper with His Apostles where He said in His commandment that humans should love one another. In this day also the Son of God solemnly washed His disciples’ feet before the Last Supper which is a demonstration of love and humility. In our time, the Holy Thursday is the time of visiting several churches and praying the Stations of the Cross.
The day of mourning, it is the Good Friday. This is the commemoration of passion of Christ, His execution, crucifixion and death on the cross at Calvary. In our age, in this day is the announcement of the Seven Last Words. The solemnity of Holy Day is being observed as Great Silence by refraining from exultation, noisiness, worldliness, lechery and faithfully abstaining from eating meat. This is like sympathizing in a deceased person and giving the respect to a dead. Good Friday is an ideal day to meditate, read the Bible, recite prayers and live the blessed and purest of life.
In Black Saturday, the body of Christ was laid and rested in the tomb, while His soul had descended into hell to free the dead. Formally, the Holy Saturday ends the Lent season and it prepares the feast of resurrection on the following day. The Lord Jesus who died on the cross has rose from the dead on the third day is celebrated during Easter Sunday. Customarily, it ends the days of mourning, fasting and silence and starts the joy of saving our souls from sins and celebrating the feast of Lord’s resurrection.
In Christianity, the death and the resurrection of the Lord are the most important events in commemorating the season. It is through His death that our sins were paid. It represents the whole being of our good living will be rewarded with the eternal life after our death to live again with the Lord. Lenten season is the time of commemorating, acknowledging and valuing the great sacrifice of the Redeemer. The lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance, this is the perfect time of reflection for the past deeds and repenting for the wrong doings. Although this can be done in any day even without occasion but for Christians, this is the most ideal time to perform our belief. It doesn’t need to become religious and devout to observe the Lent and ponder the significance of the Holy week.
Let us remember that in these alone we cannot get the true forgiveness and blessings from the Lord. Repentance cannot be shown in penance alone, faith cannot be strengthen by doing your vows and fasting, observance in Holy week cannot be proven by reading the book of Passion and visiting number of churches alone. Remember that the true mercy and blessings can be received if we are doing our worthy cause in our everyday life. And most importantly, joining the whole Christian world in observing the holiness of the Lenten Season by giving the full respect regardless of your belief and sect is the good showing of elusive world peace and great love to human race.
By Alex V. Villamayor
April 22, 2011