A Heart for Holy Week

dscf0019Holy Week has always been special to me.  Back home, growing up, it was made special with beautiful customs, from attending Holy Thursday Mass to dyeing eggs on Holy Saturday afternoon.  (I am not trying to put these on the same plane.)

Now, since I’ve come to St. Anne’s, this annual commemoration has only grown in significance for me.  I’ve even developed traditions of my own, including making hot cross buns, ironing curtains for the Altar of Repose, and several others.

Many of these are linked to my assignment as sacristan here, which I was asked to take up several years back when our Sister Annella retired to our provincial house.

A week before Palm Sunday, the famous brown suitcase comes down from the cupboard above a closet in the sacristy.  It contains cloth covers for the crosses and other items used at this time of the liturgical year.  It will sit on a chair in our conference room until Easter.

Along with the special baking, ironing, and liturgical planning which take place during these holy days, extra cleaning has also become customary for me during the latter part of Holy Week.

We have Eucharistic Adoration (Exposition) in our chapel during the week, normally.  However, during the Paschal Triduum, this does not take place.  I use this time to do some thorough cleaning which I do not like to undertake when people are there, including polishing the woodwork, cleaning the vigil light stand, and cleaning candle holders.  (In typing this, I just reminded myself of some of the work that’s ahead.)

palm trimming

We trimmed the palms I and wrapped them in damp towels overnight.

All these tasks and considerations can be a little overwhelming.  However, they are good exterior elements to correlate with interior dispositions at this time.

As I prepare the chapel for these important commemorations, as I bake hot cross buns for our residents, as I clean and iron, I think of the Holy Women who accompanied Jesus on His way and I pray that my own heart (and not just our chapel) my be cleansed more and more.  I pray that it may be close to His.

(Please Note: Due to the solemn nature of these holy days I will not be posting during the Triduum.  We have a custom of observing silence from Holy Thursday until the Easter Vigil, which my oft-typing fingers will strive to maintain as well.)

5 thoughts on “A Heart for Holy Week

  1. As usual your blog for this week is beautiful. I pray too, that I will be more conscious of Jesus and his passion as I go about my duties at home. Thank you for reminding me of what I should be doing.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! You have inspired me to make Triestine Pinza on Holy Thursday! It is an Italian Easter bread from the region of Trieste and the now Northern Croation Islands. My mother made it every year but she has since gone to our Lord. I was going to skip making it this year because it is time intensive and I am always watching my waist line but You have inspired me to make the sacrifice for my 95 year old father who loves it! Please pray for my dad (Armando)that he be healthy until the Lord brings him home and please pray for my sons and husband.


    • Thanks – God bless you. I just found out that my schedule on Wednesday might be changing slightly. If necessary, would another time a bit later work for you? I should know by late today or by tomorrow. May God Reward You (as we say).

      On Mon, Apr 10, 2017 at 9:46 AM, Our Franciscan Fiat wrote:

      > 01rena commented: “Sister Christina, you have such a lovely way of writing > – the warmth spreads to all your readers. Blessings and smiles,” >


  3. What beautiful, rich traditions our holy Church has – I am so grateful! We have so much to be thankful for. Thank you Sr. Christina for the relection about the holy women of the church and their duties/prayers/offerings. Blessings to all this Holy Week.


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