Holy Week Explained: Holy Week is the most intense seven-day period of the church calendar and includes liturgies that are offered only once a year.
I really described Holy Week as a turning point in our church year and it kind of buoys us and prepares us for the next season.
Holy Saturday is kind of a pause that refreshes and then the the great vigil that night is begins to take us into the joy of Easter the first part of the vigil is the igniting of that flame and it’s the flame that’s with us all year long lighting of that initial flame is such a dramatic moment and then there is the the vigil component which is a long period of waiting hearing stories chemical Psalms beautiful beautiful scripture that everyone knows. We’re celebrating the Hebrew history of rich history of stories that have been told for generations and generations and we do that being illuminated by that single flame it’s really it’s it’s it’s extremely it’s extremely moving there’s been the tradition of from early Christianity of preparing adults for this big conversion experience and that all happened at once with baptism and communion in one day when you’re baptizing an adult you know that the adult has really desires this there’s the sense of this is part of their becoming fully spiritual and and claiming this identity and with children it’s the sense that this is being claimed for that we baptize children because this isn’t something we choose for ourselves.
God has already chosen us so baptism is just a reflection a symbol of that being claimed by God already they both have power and meaning in different ways we get to reaffirm our vows at the Easter Vigil what a great ability to do that I like to think of it as being able to kind of punch the reset button and start over it’s a huge welcoming into the church of all new people and then it finally culminates with the first Easter service in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory is yours I recommend this to people past early if they’ve had a really rough time a season of life because we begin in darkness and by the end we walk through the lighting of the Paschal candle and we end with bells ringing it’s kind of a microcosm of the journey of life but also it doesn’t leave you where you started so I feel it is just a privilege to both invite people into it and to participate in that.