- KNOW THEM. Easter is the day when Christians climax the 40 days of lent. However, the preceding days seem less understood. Religious leaders explain the significance of each writes, CHRISTINE KATENDE.
Rev Irene Akankwasa, All Saints Cathedral (Anglican Church)
The Maundy Thursday: Also called Holy Thursday or Sheer Thursday, the Thursday that precedes Easter. It is observed in commemoration of Jesus Christ’s institution of the Eucharist during the last supper with the Apostles. It also commemorates the foot washing of the disciples (Maundy). He had the last supper with his disciples and tells them things that are about to happen. This shows us the servanthood of Jesus, it means that we as Christians should be good servants of the Lord, when he washed the feet of his disciples and gave them bread and wine, saying this is my body and blood that will be shed for you. It is a low day but we need to be happy that Jesus gave in himself to be humiliated for our sake, he wanted us to be redeemed.
Holy Saturday: He was in the tomb as many wondered whether he would bring some hope but on the third day he rose again just as he had promised his disciples. The resurrection gives the joy and see him defeat death. Even if we die, we resurrect with him in faith. His resurrection gives the hope of defeating death, having the bodies in the grave but our souls resurrect with Christ. It shows us the power and authority Jesus has over everything and gives us the assurance of going to heaven after the earthly life.
Rev Fr Paul Mutaasa, Vicar general Uganda Orthodox Church
Palm Sunday: Palm Sunday: On this day, we commemorate the day Jesus entered Jerusalem. People welcomed him with palms in glory. He was later arrested after being betrayed by Judas. We proceed to the Holy Week.
Holy Thursday: He was brought out of jail and tried. On the same day, he forgave whoever had gone against him. In the Orthodox, church we read the 12 gospels and have all the unworthy people have Holy Communion like the unmarried. Everyone is forgiven because it is a day of forgiveness.
Easter: On the 3rd day he rose from the dead with glory that is why candles are lit as a sign of light, the risen Christ. This day we celebrate the risen Lord that Jesus has conquered death and we will live in eternity. The resurrection of Jesus helps us to keep our faith high in life after death. It is the body that get wasted but our souls rise to heaven in the next life.
Ps Martin Ssempa, Makerere Community Church (Pentecostal Church)
Palm Sunday: Palm Sunday: Jesus descends from the Mount of Olives towards Jerusalem, and the crowds lay their clothes on the ground to welcome him as he triumphantly enters Jerusalem. Jesus coming on a donkey signifies his humility despite his power.
Easter: This is the resurrection Sunday. This is significant that a sinless person was killed and his death is a payment of whole the world thus getting salvation, freedom and redemption for everyone. The lesson from all these days is that blood of Jesus is only powerful when applied, you confess with your mouth and believe with your heart. So we always activate our faith through the commemoration.
Fr Jean Marie Nsambu (Catholic Church)
Palm Sunday: Palm Sunday: This sixth Sunday in Lent, though specifically the liturgical calendar has up to five Sundays of Lent. Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, which culminates in paschal celebrations. On this day, the faithful wave palms in procession to the sacrifice of Mass, in remembrance of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on the way to his passion, death, and resurrection. Palm branches signify victory over the world enemy.
Good Friday: The faithful conduct the Way of the Cross and attend the Passion of the Lord Service. This is the only day in the Liturgical Year, when Sacraments are not celebrated, in commemoration of the death of Jesus. There is adoration of the Holy Cross. During the Way of the Cross, we meditate on the pain that Jesus went through as he fought to save us from sin. This teaches that physical or emotional suffering is part of life and not all suffering if a result of sin.
Holy Saturday: The church celebrates Mass, only after dusk in anticipation of the Lord’s Resurrection. In olden days, this Easter Vigil would be celebrated at around midnight. Candle are lit signifying Jesus, the embodiment of our salvation, the light of the world, who is the alpha and omega. It is characteristic for the churches to receive new members, either through baptism of adults, and/or other sacraments including Confirmation, and Holy Eucharist. The vigil, as well as Easter may be referred to as the Lord’s Day, the day the Lord has made (“holy”), for conquering death.
The Easter Octave: Now in the mood of the Great Passover, when Jesus Christ has passed from life to death, a mystery the Church represents in the celebration of Mass, we mark the Eastertide (Season of Easter the 50 days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost).
However, the Church marks the season’s first eight days, commonly called Easter Octave, like Easter. Easter is celebrated up to the following Sunday, which is the Divine Mercy Sunday. That joy of Easter is therefore, extended through eight days, for us to taste the love he has for us.