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This Video: Stone of the Anointing, Church of The Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem - Holy Land
“And in the meantime they carefully wrapped him, together with spices and myrrh, in a new linen cloth, that had never been used by anyone.” (Apocryphal Gospel of Gamiliel)
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For some Christians, the week preceding Easter is known as Holy Week. It begins on Palm Sunday and is traditionally a week of somber reflection on the events preceding Jesus’ death: his triumphant entry into Jerusalem; his betrayal by Judas; his Last Supper with his twelve apostles; his arrest, crucifixion and death; and his burial in a tomb.
What Is the Passion?
Though today the word “passion” has romantic connotations, it was originally derived from the Latin word passio, meaning suffering. In religious contexts, the Passion (often capitalized) refers to the torture, crucifixion, and death of Jesus.
What Is a Passion Play?
A Passion play is a reenactment of the gospel stories of Jesus’ trial, torture by Roman soldiers, and crucifixion, often with a focus on the carrying of the cross. During Holy Week, Christian groups may stage performances of Passion plays in churches or processions through streets; actors from the congregation play the roles of various characters in the gospels. While many Christians today find Passion plays moving, some interfaith experts consider Passion plays problematic because they have incited anti-Semitic violence in the past by blaming Jews for Jesus' death.
What Is Good Friday?
Christians observe Good Friday (for English-speaking Eastern Orthodox Christians, “Great and Holy Friday”) as the day Jesus was crucified and died. It is the most somber day on the Christian calendar. On Good Friday, some Christians abstain from meat or refrain from food altogether. They may also attend special church services that might include readings from the gospel stories of Jesus' Passion, Jesus' last words, and other Bible passages. Catholics often make the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.
What Is the Triduum?
For Catholics and some other Christians, the Triduum is the three-day period marking Jesus' death and burial. It begins on Holy Thursday and concludes as Easter begins. Some Christians observe the Triduum by attending a worship service on each day, including a long Easter Vigil service on the night before Easter.
What Is Easter?
Easter is the most important Christian holiday, surpassing even Christmas. As a celebration of the day Jesus rose from the dead, Easter symbolizes forgiveness, rebirth, and God’s saving power. Christians view the day as a victory over sin, death, and all destructive forces in people’s lives.
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