Christians to be the son of Jehovah god, by shedding His blood on the cross at Calvary, sacrificed himself to cleanse mankind of sins- He became a sacrificial lamb that substituted animals that were being sacrificed as penance for sins committed by Israelites(God’s chosen people) of Old Testament times. Animal sacrifice was annulled once and for all by the sacrifice of Christ.
The week commences with Palm Sunday and ends with Easter. On Palm Sunday, Christians after attending mass, walk along the streets forming long winding processions. They hold palm fronds, and chant ‘Hosanna’. The only thing that is achieved by this ritual is to hold up traffic and cause public nuisance. Palm Sunday commemorates Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey before His death. Just as Christ did 2000 years ago, He continues to hear the cries of the ‘faithful’ chanting hosanna, from within the processions on public roads on Palm Sundays, only to be shouted at ‘crucify Him’ two days later promptly, by the very same people who formed the processions by continuing to dabble in sins they should not be doing, Holy week or not. This renders the procession with the fronds a mere ritual that serves only to cause public inconvenience, and nothing else.
Maundy Thursday which follows Palm Sunday commemorates the last supper Christ had with his disciples before his ordeal that began at Gethsemane, later that night. After supper, He washed the feet of reluctant and shocked disciples to symbolize the spirit of service, however lowly that might be, supposedly to be offered unconditionally to the least of the society. This day is marked with Bishops washing the feet of priests and nuns and stops at that ritually. This ritual is undertaken to remind the faithful about the spirit of service expected of them, however ‘highly placed in society’ they might be. If Christ could wash His disciples’ feet, are not the so-called ‘Christians’ expected to serve the lowliest in society, however lowly that service might be? Unfortunately, this too has decayed into just a ritual. From the next day, the very spelling of ‘SERVICE’ is conveniently forgotten by the so-called ‘faithful’ observing the Holy Week. The symbolic feet washing is followed by holy mass.
The next day is Good Friday, the day in which Christ died. The event is too ‘somber’ for Christians to indulge in theatrics like the preceding days of an unfolding ‘Passion Week’. Major time is spent at church, where most of the faithful go through the travails of a longwinded mass, somnolently.
As a run-up to the Holy Week, Christians observe ‘fasting’ for fifty days. Non-vegetarian food, including milk and its products is denounced by the diehards among them.’ fasting’ is meant to spiritually bolster people who undertake it. Food is supposed to be one of the favorite commodities to mankind, the denouncement of which for fifty days, in an atmosphere of prayer and penance is supposed to add to the Christians’ spiritual wherewithal. But, the Christian version of’ fasting’, where only non-vegetarian food is denounced is the easiest thing to do. They have the choicest vegetarian delicacies to their hearts’ content and often beyond! Some give up just meat, continuing to eat fish (as if God cares about their culinary preferences!)! One cannot be blamed if the ‘modified fast’ undertaken by modern-day faithful is meant to hoodwink God! This kind of fasting achieves absolutely nothing. Instead, what would have been more meaningful was to do away with things more corrupting and of more consequence than food. for example: why can’t Christians undertake to do away with corruption, money laundering, cheating, lending money for interest, laziness at work, adultery, and even the evil eye which if done away with, albeit though it be only for fifty days would benefit individuals and society in a big way? Why can’t Christians, instead of ‘fasting’ for fifty days, decide to observe Christ’s other more important teachings like ‘turn the other cheek’(Mathew 5:39), ‘that one of you who is faultless shall throw the first stone’(John21:7), ‘if your right eye is your undoing, tear it away and fling it away’(Mathew 5:29), ‘love your enemies and pray for your persecutors’(Mathew 5:44), ‘do not set yourself against the man who wrongs you’(Mathew5:39), ‘whoever receives a child in my name, receives me’(Luke9:48), and many others, instead of taking the easy route to observe the Holy Week?
These are to be observed not only for the fifty days before the Holy Week, but, 365 days of the year. I might sound a bit utopian! But, that is how Christians, including me, are ought to be. That IS Christianity, for that matter……..But Alas!
Easter, the commemoration of Christ’s resurrection brings the curtains down on the Holy week. The Christians, tired, spent and browbeaten following the fifty day ‘fast’ literally ‘rise up’(pun intended) to the occasion! That’s the day when floodgates open! The fasting Christians, like hungry lions that have smelt blood on a tight leash, breaks the ‘fast’ by consuming every living creature that walks, flies and swims on the planet in various forms. Gallons of choicest liquor help prevent the faithful from choking on large morsels of food being gulped down no-holds-barred.
Come next Monday, with yet another ‘Holy Week’ behind them, Christians are right earnestly back to their mean old ways (though jaded considerably by hangover brought about by the orgy of ‘celebrating’ Easter). They are promptly back to the reasons for which Christ died; and was the very reason for observance of the ‘Holy week’ which commemorates a verily supreme sacrifice, known to mankind having sadly gone awry.
In doing so, ‘Christians’ make sure that Christ wearing that crown of thorns is once again nailed to the cross!