The Bible readings for Holy Week

Pastor William Weedon explains about the appointed readings for Holy Week:

Why did we read about BOTH the triumphal entry and the Passion and death of our Lord in the Palm Sunday liturgy. First, remember that the observance of “this happening” on “the same day” is a rather late convention in the Church’s liturgical life. The foundational mystery is celebrated each and every Lord’s Day: Christ crucified is raised from the dead. Even on Palm Sunday that remains the focus. And come Holy Week the Church delights to hear the Passion story told from each Evangelist’s perspective. Palm Sunday belongs to Matthew; Monday we begin some of John’s story (actually continued from the processional Gospel on Palm Sunday); Tuesday is Mark’s and Wednesday is Luke’s. Come Thursday we go back to John and hear of some events on Maundy Thursday. Friday is given over wholly to John’s Passion. So rather than thinking of it as a progression from this to that, in the Western liturgy we hear the whole story as it is told all four times during Holy Week, so that nothing of what Scripture gives us about our Lord’s passion, death, and burial is lost.

via Weedon’s Blog: So Katie and Sandy.

So even if you aren’t going to church every day this week, as a discipline for the week, read each of the passion narratives in each of the four Gospels.

Does anyone have any other customs, practices, or recommendations for Holy Week?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan Kempin

    This touches on one of my pet peeves–the attempt to replace palm Sunday with “passion” sunday. (What is the logic? Really?) Pastor Weedon’s statement that this is “a rather late convention in the church’s liturgical life” is a nice euphemism for “liturgical novelty.” I decline to practice it and revert to the old readings on this dayof the year.

    (Sit. Good boy. Nice pet peeve.)

  • Dan Kempin

    This touches on one of my pet peeves–the attempt to replace palm Sunday with “passion” sunday. (What is the logic? Really?) Pastor Weedon’s statement that this is “a rather late convention in the church’s liturgical life” is a nice euphemism for “liturgical novelty.” I decline to practice it and revert to the old readings on this dayof the year.

    (Sit. Good boy. Nice pet peeve.)

  • Moruti

    Many years ago, while living overseas, I took the gospel accounts of the Passion and created a Holy Week reading booklet. Merging the accounts into one reading then dividing it up according to the day of the week. Now as a family we read the account according to the day of the week.

    We use this along with the candles that we have been using since Ash Wednesday, lighting them each morning with devotions. We started with seven and have been extinguishing one each week. Now we are down to one that we will extinguish on Good Friday as we read the final account of our Lord’s death.

    We have done this since our children have been very young to help them realize all that our Lord accomplished for them. Then on Easter morning we celebrate with a sunrise family service beginning with the words, “Christ is Risen. He is risen indeed”

  • Moruti

    Many years ago, while living overseas, I took the gospel accounts of the Passion and created a Holy Week reading booklet. Merging the accounts into one reading then dividing it up according to the day of the week. Now as a family we read the account according to the day of the week.

    We use this along with the candles that we have been using since Ash Wednesday, lighting them each morning with devotions. We started with seven and have been extinguishing one each week. Now we are down to one that we will extinguish on Good Friday as we read the final account of our Lord’s death.

    We have done this since our children have been very young to help them realize all that our Lord accomplished for them. Then on Easter morning we celebrate with a sunrise family service beginning with the words, “Christ is Risen. He is risen indeed”

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Christ crucified for our sins is certainly the more important message, but it just wouldn’t be Palm Sunday without the Palm Sunday readings.

    Hoosianna, Daavidin Poika,
    kiitetty olkoon hän!
    Kiitetty Daavidin Poika,
    joka tulee Herran nimeen.
    Hoosianna, hoosianna,
    hoosianna, hoosianna!
    Kiitetty Daavidin Poika,
    joka tulee Herran nimeen.

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Christ crucified for our sins is certainly the more important message, but it just wouldn’t be Palm Sunday without the Palm Sunday readings.

    Hoosianna, Daavidin Poika,
    kiitetty olkoon hän!
    Kiitetty Daavidin Poika,
    joka tulee Herran nimeen.
    Hoosianna, hoosianna,
    hoosianna, hoosianna!
    Kiitetty Daavidin Poika,
    joka tulee Herran nimeen.

  • Booklover

    My mom always planted potatoes on Good Friday, then she served buttered noodles.

    It is snowing in Montana this week, so I don’t know if those potatoes will get planted.

  • Booklover

    My mom always planted potatoes on Good Friday, then she served buttered noodles.

    It is snowing in Montana this week, so I don’t know if those potatoes will get planted.


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