Holy Week | Free Online Biblical Library

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Holy Week

The week beginning with Palm Sunday and ending with Holy Saturday, observed as a solemn fast, commemorating the Passion. Its origin lies in the two-day pre- paschal fast of the ante-Nicene Church, but with the historicization of festivals in the fourth century it became a week, and its liturgical observances were modeled on developments in Jerusalem. By the Middle Ages a complex of services had been adopted, including the Palm procession, the Pedilavium, the Veneration of the Cross, the burial of the Cross and Host in the Easter Sepulcher, and ceremonies with the new fire and Paschal Candle. The Anglo-Catholic movement revived some of these customs in Anglican worship. In 1957 the Roman Catholic Church completed a reform of Holy Week.