How to Live Holy Week Well

Holy Week is here, and we want to help you live it well. 

But what does “living Holy Week well” really look like? Is it fasting extra hard the last few days of Lent? Is it preparing for our Easter celebrations? 

The truth is, a lot of things go into this week, and it can be hard to figure out what to prioritize.  But arguably one of the most important aspects of the week is truly thinking through what we are recalling on each day and each moment during this transitional season.  St. Josemaria says it very well: “The tragedy of the passion brings to fulfilment our own life and the whole of human history. We can’t let Holy Week be just a kind of commemoration. It means contemplating the mystery of Jesus Christ as something which continues to work in our souls.” 

This should be our goal: to contemplate the events of Holy Week as realities in our own hearts and lives today.  Some ways to do so include: 

  • Adding extra time for prayer into your daily routine
  • Going to confession and preparing your soul for the celebration of Easter
  • Exploring the Passion readings from Scripture and journaling about their significance to you 
  • Participating in Holy Week liturgies at your Church (Holy Thursday Mass and/or Washing of the Feet, Good Friday veneration of the Cross, Holy Saturday Mass, and Easter Vigil or Easter Sunday Mass)
  • Abstaining from meat an additional day besides Good Friday
  • Only watching religious movies or shows or only listening to religious music 
  • Reflecting with a family member or friend about Jesus’ Passion
  • Praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary 
  • Praying the Stations of the Cross
  • Listening to Holy Week meditations online 
  • Learning about a traditional Easter custom from your country of origin and why it is practiced
  • Preparing Easter baskets for your families and having them blessed
  • Adorning your home with Easter lilies and learning their significance
  • Doing spiritual reading on the Passion and the Resurrection

There are many topics to pray about and contemplate this week- from Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday, and from the sorrow and sacrifice of Good Friday to the miraculous Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday, there is a lot to cover. We hope that these suggestions will inspire you in your efforts to live out Holy Week with reverence and help you to embrace the beauty, sadness, mystery, hope, and joy of this season in your hearts.