Liturgical Theology of the Holy Week

These three days, which the Church calls Great and Holy have within the liturgical development of Holy Week a very definite purpose. They place all its celebrations into the perspective of End; they remind us of the eschatological meaning of Pascha.

So often the Holy Week is considered one of the "beautiful traditions" or "customs", a self evident "part" of our calendar. We take it for granted and enjoy it as a cherished annual event which we have observed since our childhood. We admire the beauty of its services, the pageantry of its rites and, last but not least, we like the fuss about the Paschal table. Then when all this is done, we resume our normal life. But do we understand that when the world rejected its Saviour, when "Jesus began to be sorrowful and very heavy… and his soul was exceedingly sorrowful even unto death," when He died on the Cross, "normal life" came to its .

For they were "normal" men who shouted, "Crucify Him!", who spat on Him and nailed Him to the Cross. They hated and killed Him precisely because He was troubling their normal life. It was indeed a perfectly "normal" world which preferred darkness and death to light and life. By the death of Jesus, this "normal" world, this "normal" life was irrevocably condemned, or rather, they revealed their true and abnormal nature ie their inability to receive the – "Now is the judgement of this world." (John 12:31). The Pascha (Passover) of Jesus signified its end to “this world” and it has been at its end since then. This end can last for hundreds of centuries; this does not alter the nature of time in which we live as the "last time." The "fashion of this world passes away…"(1 Corinthians 7:31).