Bracing for "The Week That Was"

We’re sliding into one of the busiest times for parishes, but it can be easy to forget what it’s really about.

From this week’s “All Things New”:

Back in the 1960s, there was a TV show called “That Was the Week That Was,” which satirized current events. It was a precursor to “Saturday Night Live” or “The Daily Show.”

Well, what we are beginning Sunday will mark the ultimate “week that was.” The liturgies of this coming week are powerful and primal. We are a part of something both ancient and new, and what we do this week reminds us of that. The altar will be stripped. The cross will be venerated. The tabernacle will be emptied. The Blessed Sacrament will be moved. Bells will be stilled.

It is unlike any other time in our Catholic calendar.

This week, take the time to think deeply about what we are doing, and what we are remembering. Take time to realize what this week has meant to the world.

For close to two thousand years, we have gathered like this, to light candles and chant prayers and read again the ancient stories of our deliverance and redemption. But are we aware of what we are doing? Do we understand what it means? Do we realize the price that was paid?

Try this. During Holy Week, take a moment in each day that passes to wonder: What was Christ doing during this time of that one week all those centuries ago? What was on his mind on Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday? What sort of anguish? What kind of dread? Has anything we have ever worried about, or lost sleep over, or agonized about, even come close?

Check out the rest.

Meantime, here’s a very good primer on Holy Week and the Triduum.


  1. not so great a primer on Holy Thursday:

    “The Mass of the Last Supper is a dramatic liturgy with the priest washing the feet of 12 individuals, often parishioners and those representing service in the community.”

    Why must every reference to a particular gender be replaced by a neutral term, when the GIRM, both in Latin and English is uses the word “men”?

    Shall Mothers’ day and Fathers’ day now become “Individuals’ day” when we honor those individuals, often parents, and those who participated in the service of raising children?

    Sorry, Deacon. I know a combox is no place to grind an axe, but that one struck a nerve.

Leave a Comment