Browsing St. Michael Blog

Holy Week: Embracing Traditions, Mystery, and Memories

By Judy Shallcross
Holy Week has begun. Tradition leads us in and with Palm Sunday, we have a physical reminder for those able to physically attend Mass. Holding a palm branch, walking with the palm branch and having it blessed with Holy Water, we have symbols that connect us to our beliefs. With traditions, come memories. Memories differ depending on our training, family, culture, and the individual. Some dread the long Gospel, while others attend in awe, hanging on every word until we hear the words describing our Lord hanging on the cross until his death.  
Today we have a choice to physically attend Mass or stay home. Last year, we did not have that choice. The pandemic kept us apart. Maybe you have personal reasons for staying away this year also. Maybe you will connect in a different way. 
Holy Week is full of mystery, confusion, and passion. The mystery of all the events of our Lord’s life and necessary passion and death. In my littleness, I also think of the mysterious virus that has affected our world this past year. Then I turn back to the mysteries of our Lord’s life, the friends and enemies He had and what He did for us. Some mysteries about our Lord will not be solved for me in this life. The mysteries that remain, strengthen my faith. In my littleness, I also have confusion as I find myself wondering what is true about where the pandemic came from or what is truly needed to keep us all safe. Then I return to confusion and wonder of our Lord’s obedience to suffer in the way of the cross. I am confused that politics of the time had such a twist, that the truth of our Messiah was lost or confounded.  
When we consider the word passion, we are not talking only about a strong feeling or emotion. Our Lord’s passion and suffering is beyond words. Sitting with the Gospel words, meditating on writings about the Passion is an experience of heart and soul, if we have a mind to do so. In my littleness, I seek a closer relationship with our Lord by entering the space of the Triduum. I pray you will as well. 


  • Jean A. Costa

    Thank you, Judy. I love the phrase “my littleness” and the mysteries that surround me. I once read where we live in a culture of mastery and because of that we don’t relish the mysteries. Have a blessed Easter.