Holy Week and Easter

Holy_Week

Holy Week and Easter

What is Easter all about? A celebration of spring? New life and rebirth? A fantastic opportunity to eat as much chocolate as possible?

Although Easter is remembered by many people in Britain, no festival of religious origin is more popular than Christmas. However, most Christians would say that the more significant festival is actually Easter. Christmas commemorates the time God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ (the Incarnation). But at Easter Christians celebrate what God came to do – to rescue the world through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

The week leading up to Easter is known as ‘Holy Week’. It marks the final week of Jesus’ life, from Palm Sunday (when Jesus entered Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem, looking like a king), through Maundy Thursday when Jesus ate his last supper with his disciples, to his arrest, trial and eventual execution on Good Friday. The belief that Jesus died on the cross to cancel out the bad things of the world is one of the most important beliefs in all of Christianity. Equally important are the events of Easter Sunday itself, when Christians celebrate Jesus coming back to life. His resurrection is a sign of his power over death, and symbolic of the new and eternal life He gives to people.

In this section, find out about the events of Holy Week and Easter, and their significance to Christians today. Explore our Easter traditions and how they link to the Easter story. Can you guess the link between Easter Sunday and chocolate eggs?

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Holy Week and Easter Articles

Easter

What makes this festival so special?

  • Festivals
  • Text
018-gnpi-82-jesus-resurrection

Easter

What makes this festival so special?

  • Festivals
  • Text

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘Easter’? Bunnies? Hot cross buns? Gooey creme eggs? Easter is one of the most special times in the year for Christians – and very little of it has to do with chocolate! ‘Easter’ is a season […]

Unfinished – Who was Jesus?

The High Priest's view of Jesus

  • Festivals
  • Video
High Priest

Unfinished – Who was Jesus?

The High Priest's view of Jesus

  • Festivals
  • Video

In this modern retelling of a biblical story – the ‘high priest’ reflects back on the trial of Jesus. Who was Jesus? Was there reason to have him crucified? Were they right to have him killed? Was Jesus’ death the end or was there still […]

A Good Friday Service in a Catholic Church

How do Catholics remember Jesus' death?

  • Festivals
  • Video
Crucifixion and Burial

A Good Friday Service in a Catholic Church

How do Catholics remember Jesus' death?

  • Festivals
  • Video

What is the Lord’s Passion? What is remembered on Good Friday? Why do Catholics hold the service at 3pm? Watch this film to see how Catholics remember the events of Good Friday.

Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday

How do Catholics celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper?

  • Festivals
  • Video
JESUS-WHYDIE-LASTSUPPER

Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday

How do Catholics celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper?

  • Festivals
  • Video

What happened during the last meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his death? How do Catholics celebrate this meal? How do Catholics remember the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross?

Easter Vigil

How do Catholics celebrate the resurrection of Jesus?

  • Festivals
  • Video
JESUS-RESSURECTION-TOMB

Easter Vigil

How do Catholics celebrate the resurrection of Jesus?

  • Festivals
  • Video

What is celebrated at Easter? Why is Easter seen as so important? What happens during an Easter vigil? Watch this film to see how and why Catholics celebrate Easter.

Stations of the Cross

What happened on Jesus' journey to the cross?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline
stations (12)

Stations of the Cross

What happened on Jesus' journey to the cross?

  • Festivals
  • Timeline

Maundy Thursday in the Church

How do churches mark Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
  • Text
last_supper feet washing

Maundy Thursday in the Church

How do churches mark Maundy Thursday?

  • Festivals
  • Text

Even if a church does not hold a specific Maundy Thursday service, the Last Supper is remembered regularly in the majority of Christian churches through the communion service or shared meal. these can be held as often as once a week by some. A Maundy […]

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
P&P-CHURCH HISTORY-COL CROSS

Good Friday

What do Christians remember on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

Good Friday is the Friday of Holy Week, the Friday before Easter Day. It is thought that the name Good Friday is an altered form of God’s Friday. But many people say that ‘Good’ Friday is an appropriate name: on this special day, God showed […]

Easter Sunday

What is the Resurrection?

  • Festivals
  • Video
Prayer

Easter Sunday

What is the Resurrection?

  • Festivals
  • Video

It is on Easter Sunday that the fasting and sadness of Lent turns to joyful celebration as Christians celebrate the Resurrection and declare that death is defeated and Jesus is alive. Jesus had told the disciples before he was arrested that he would be crucified […]

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
Good Friday Walk of Witnesses

Good Friday

How do Christians remember Jesus' death on Good Friday?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

Good Friday is both a time of sadness and a time of thankfulness. Sadness as Christians remember the suffering that Jesus endured but thankfulness as they think about how he suffered and died as a sign of God’s love for all people. Some Christians will […]