Holy Week


Holy Week
the week preceding Easter Sunday.
[1700-10; trans. of It settimana santa]

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      in the Christian Church, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, observed with special solemnity as a time of devotion to the passion of Jesus Christ. In the Greek and Roman liturgical books it is called the Great Week because great deeds were done by God during this week. The name Holy Week was used in the 4th century by Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, and Epiphanius, bishop of Constantia. Originally only Friday and Saturday were observed as holy days; later Wednesday was added as the day on which Judas plotted to betray Jesus, and by the beginning of the 3rd century the other days of the week had been added. The pre-Nicene Church concentrated its attention on the celebration of one great feast, the Christian Passover, on the night between Saturday and Easter Sunday morning. By the later 4th century the practice had begun of separating the various events and commemorating them on the days of the week on which they occurred: Judas' betrayal and the institution of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday; the passion and death of Christ on Good Friday; his burial on Saturday; and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

      The Holy Week observances in the Roman missal were revised according to the decree Maxima Redemptoris (Nov. 16, 1955) to restore the services to the time of day corresponding to that of the events discussed in Scripture.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Holy Week — (Latin: Hebdomada Sancta or Maior Hebdomada , Greater Week ) in Christianity is the last week before Easter. It includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday) and Good Friday, and lasts from Palm Sunday (or in the …   Wikipedia

  • Holy Week — • The week which precedes the great festival of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday, and which consequently is used to commemorate the Passion of Christ, and the event which immediately led up to it Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Holy… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Holy Week — Holy Ho ly, a. [Compar. {Holier}; superl. {Holiest}.] [OE. holi, hali, AS. h[=a]lig, fr. h[ae]l health, salvation, happiness, fr. h[=a]l whole, well; akin to OS. h?lag, D. & G. heilig, OHG. heilac, Dan. hellig, Sw. helig, Icel. heilagr. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Holy Week — n [singular] the week before Easter in the Christian church …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Holy Week — Holy ,Week noun count or uncount in the Christian religion, the week before Easter Sunday …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Holy Week — ► NOUN ▪ the week before Easter …   English terms dictionary

  • Holy Week — n. the week before Easter …   English World dictionary

  • Holy Week — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms Holy Week : singular Holy Week plural Holy Weeks in the Christian religion, the week before Easter Sunday …   English dictionary

  • Holy Week —  ; Great Week    The term Holy Week, known as Great Week in the Eastern Churches, begins on Palm (Passion) Sunday and ends on Easter Sunday. Holy Week includes the celebration of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the events… …   Glossary of theological terms

  • Holy Week — N UNCOUNT In the Christian religion, Holy Week is the week before Easter, when Christians remember the events leading up to the death of Christ …   English dictionary

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