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 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 […]

The Easter Story

What does the Bible say about the Easter Story?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

The Easter Story

What does the Bible say about the Easter Story?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

The story of Jesus’ arrest, death, burial and resurrection is sometimes referred to as ‘The Easter Story’. It is a story that is told in all four of the Gospels; the books of the Bible which tell what happened in Jesus’ life. The films here […]

Easter

What makes this festival so special?

  • Festivals
  • Text
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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 […]

Celebrating Easter

Why is the Resurrection so important to Christians today?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery
Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 16.34.29

Celebrating Easter

Why is the Resurrection so important to Christians today?

  • Festivals
  • Video gallery

If the first question about the Resurrection – Jesus’ return from death – is ‘Did it happen?’, the second is ‘Does it really matter?’ Take a look at these films to find out how Christians have responded to that question.

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.

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?

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 […]