Embracing Holy Week: Meditations, Guides and More

April 3, 2023

For Holy Week, the Texas Catholic Herald is sharing several online meditations, guides and related reflections to help the faithful more fully embrace this solemn time in the Church's Liturgical season. Ranging from 4 minutes to 23 minutes, use these links to help deepen your experience of Holy Week this year.

With the celebration of Passion (Palm) Sunday, the Church begins its annual immersion into the mysteries of Holy Week. Christians around the world, from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome to local parish churches in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston prepare to follow the Way of the Cross through the Passion, the Death and ultimately the Resurrection of the Lord.

Holy Week marks the pinnacle of the Church’s liturgical year, culminating in the celebration of the Paschal Triduum, which begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday evening and ends with the celebration of evening prayer on Easter Sunday, the holiest day of the year.

Praying the Stations of the Cross

Walk with Christ in his Passion in the Stations of the Cross

Those who pray the Stations of the Cross can also gain a plenary indulgence on any Friday in Lent and a partial indulgence on other days of the year, with the addition of prayers for the Holy Father’s intentions. Those who cannot do the full exercise of the Way of the Cross, which includes the physical genuflecting and kneeling at certain parts of the prayers, may gain the same indulgence by sending at least one half an hour intently reading and meditating on the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, according to the United States Council of Catholic Bishops.

A plenary indulgence grants the remission of all temporal punishment due to sin, and must be coupled with a sacramental confession, reception of Holy Communion, praying for the Holy Father’s intentions and complete detachment from all sin, including venial. 

  • From the Holy Land: The Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem - Custodia Terrae Sanctae (~23 minute video)

Every Friday for centuries, Franciscan friars, as well as millions of pilgrims from around the world, have been making their Way of the Cross. Many have prayed and walked along this sorrowful route. 

This prayer journey along the Via Dolorosa is a great reminder of the sufferings that our Lord endured for our transgressions and sins. As He suffered for us by carrying His cross, let us learn to offer up our own suffering and pain, so as to unite them with His. As Christ told us, “He who wishes to be a follower of mine, must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me.” 

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A walking Way of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa, prayed in Italian, Arabic, English and Polish. ( ~ 49 minutes)

 

Other Versions

Holy Thursday

 

A meditation for Holy Thursday by Sr Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP (~ 21 minutes)

What does Holy Thursday look like in Jerusalem? - Presented by the Custody of the Holy Land (~ 4 minutes)

 

Easter Sunday

Christ is risen! Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday: celebrations in Jerusalem - Presented by the Custody of the Holy Land (~ 3:30 minutes)

An Easter Message by Br. Francesco Patton, ofm Custos of the Holy Land - Presented by the Custody of the Holy Land (~5 minutes)

An Easter Tour of Rome - (EWTN, ~ 5 minutes)

Virtual Retreats

Thanks to the Christian Media Center of the Custodia Terrae Sanctae

Way of the Cross for Peace in Jerusalem