Beginning with Palm Sunday, Christians worldwide have formally entered into the last seven days before Easter – “Holy Week.”
In Chinese, “Holy Week” is “Week of Suffering,” and “Good Friday” is “Day of Suffering.”
During this week, churches all over China and all over the world engage in “services, prayer, contemplation and preaching” to remember the “sufferings” of our Lord Jesus and prepare for Easter.
The period including “Holy Week” and Easter is the most important season for Christians, as we “commemorate” the last week our Lord Jesus was on earth:
“His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the crucifixion and his resurrection.”
During this “spiritual” week, believers “meditate” on the core of Christian doctrine, namely, “the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
This past “Palm Sunday,” churches worldwide began to celebrate “Holy Week” through Palm Sunday services. Many believers in Lutheran and Anglican churches “reenacted” Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday by waving “palm branches” while entering the church.
Pastors reminded “believers” that celebrating Palm Sunday means that “Holy Week” has begun. A few days after entering Jerusalem, Jesus Christ walked the path of the cross to “redeem us and save us from our sins.”
On Palm Sunday, in such places as Beijing, Shenzhen, and Wenzhou, Chinese churches also held Palm Sunday services, preaching from the Scriptures about Jesus’ “triumphal” entry into Jerusalem, urging believers to think about the “changes” that Jesus brings us.
Some churches even held events to die “Easter Eggs” after services that day.
Besides Sunday church services, this week some churches will meet together each night to hear a sermon about what happened on the corresponding day during that first “Holy Week.” Other churches will have many “prayer” meetings.
Another important “activity” in the Chinese church is the “baptismal” class before Easter. During this time period many churches invite people to register for and attend “baptismal classes, affirm their faith, and be baptized.”
“Holy Week,” according to the Christian liturgical calendar, is the last week of “Lent.” It includes “Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday.” It begins on Palm Sunday (in the East, on Lazarus Saturday) and goes until the night before Easter, but it doesn’t include Easter.
Thursday through Saturday, also called “the three-day Passover celebration,” is the climax of Christian liturgical life.
Happy Easter, everyone! 祝你们复活节快乐! (Zhu nimen Fuhuojie kuaile!)