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Holy Week And Easter

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RE Coursework WJEC GCSE Religious Studies Option C Celebration Holy Week and Easter Lent is one of the most important and sacred times in the year for Christians. During this penitential forty day period, Christians everywhere reflect upon their lives and their sins, and ask God for forgiveness. The final and most significant week of Lent, is called Holy Week which contains several very important days, ending with Easter Sunday, the most important date in the Christian calendar, even more so than Christmas. Easter celebrates Jesus rising from the dead, and through this he saved all of human kind from sin. Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday, sometimes known as 'Passion Sunday'. On this day Christians remember when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, and was welcomed as a King. He was not a King in relation to the amount of riches he had, but he was a King of peace, and the King of the Jews. On this day Christians attend church, and are given palms usually folded into crosses, similar to those that were waved about on the day that Jesus entered Jerusalem. The palms are folded into crosses to remind people of the crucifixion that Jesus is going to suffer. These palms are blessed by the priest, and are kept by the congregation in their homes. Left over and returned palms are burnt the following year, to create the ashes used on Ash Wednesday. The liturgy during the Palm Sunday mass deals with the death of Jesus. ...read more.


Scripture readings focusing on the death of Jesus are read, and Christians remember the painful death that Jesus experienced. Christians also remember Jesus' exaltation and that through his death he saved mankind from sin and was taken back into heaven to be at the right hand of the father. Readings during this service concentrate on how through his death, Jesus saved humankind from sin and evil. During the service, 'The Veneration of the Cross' takes place. This is a procession of a cross, remembering the journey Jesus took to Calvary carrying the cross which he would later be crucified on. During the procession the congregation chant and sing, then kneel before the cross and kiss it as a mark of respect. The Eucharist is distributed amongst the congregation during this service, but in a very solemn way. The reserved hosts from Holy Thursday are given out after the Our Father has been proclaimed. At the end of the service the priest does not give the congregation a blessing or a specific dismissal, this signifies that this is not the end for Jesus, he will triumph over this tragic event. The next significant event in Holy Week is the Easter Vigil which takes place during the darkness of night; it begins shortly after nightfall and ends before dawn. It can be divided into four sections: * The service of light * The service of readings * Solemn baptism and Confirmation * The Eucharist The service of light usually begins outside of the actual church building whilst it is dark. ...read more.


Modern traditions like giving each other Easter eggs symbolise the new life that Jesus gave to us by dying on the cross. There is evidence that the deeper meaning of Easter is dying out amongst the western society. Many children growing up in the twenty first century see Easter as a time for eating chocolate and celebrating the Easter bunny, when in actual fact this has nothing to do with the true meaning of Easter, and some adults see these few days as a opportunity for a small holiday from work. Many people reject the idea that Jesus resurrected from the dead, s science cannot prove that this event actually happened. Many people do not have faith in the Lord and need things to be proven to them. However, the majority of people still do see Easter as a time to remember the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us and to spend time with their families. Christians believe in the resurrection of the Lord, we are told in the Bible that those who believe in the Lord will be rewarded with eternal life in heaven. The resurrection gives Christians hope that they will live eternally with the Lord, and reminds them the good always overcomes evil. I think that Easter still does bear a great importance in society, even though less people may attend mass at this time than in previous years. In order to raise awareness of the real message of Easter, younger generations need to be educated and told the story of Jesus' resurrection. If younger generations learn this at an early age, they can fulfil God's plan by spreading the word of God to generations to come. Katie Meally ...read more.

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