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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Seasons of the soul: Holy Week 2006

Miss Eagle marks the seasons, keeps the traditions, believes in the rituals. To-day marks the beginning of Holy Week for Christians in the western tradition. The eastern and western traditions of the Christian Church mark Easter differently on their calendars. Next year the two traditions will co-incide and share the same date for Easter, but in 2006 the west will mark Easter of April 16 and the east will celebrate on April 23.

Holy Week is the most sacred time in the Christian calendar. No, the most sacred time is not Christmas. Christmas might be the biggest time on the commercial and corporate calendar - but not on the Christian calendar. It is of great importance - but not as important as the things that are remembered this week.

To-day is known, generally, as Palm Sunday. While the whole of Lent is a period of reflection, reflection this week becomes more sombre as some very dramatic events are remembered: events with the capacity to change the lives and outlooks of human beings. Thursday is Holy or Maundy Thursday, Friday is Good Friday, Sunday is Easter Day.

In recent years, Palm Sunday has become a focus for public reflection on issues of peace and justice. In Melbourne, this public reflection will be held at the Melbourne Town Hall with a special guest, Jim Wallis, and Tim Costello.

To-day, palm fronds in one form or another will be handed out at Christian Churches. One old tradition is the weaving of palm leaf into crosses. For instructions on this ancient Christian craft, see here.