Catholic Easter 2023: dates and meaning of each day of Holy Week

Alina MilsentLife
Holy Week for Catholics will last from April 3 to 8, and for Orthodox Christians - from April 10 to 15

In 2023, Orthodox believers will celebrate Easter on April 16, while Catholics will celebrate on April 9. The difference is due to the use of calendars: Orthodox Christians celebrate according to the Julian calendar, while Catholics celebrate according to the Gregorian calendar.

From April 2 to 7, Catholics will begin Holy Week. Read about the significance of each day in the OBOZREVATEL article.

Palm Sunday

According to the Gospel, a week before his resurrection, Christ entered Jerusalem. People greeted him by lining the roads with palm branches.

This is connected to the tradition of blessing willow branches. In Ukraine, there is a belief that the blessed willow has healing properties. For a long time, after the service, people used to lightly hit each other with branches and say: "You are beaten not by me but by the willow. Easter is coming in a week."

Holy Monday

April 3 - for Catholics, April 10 - for Orthodox

On Holy Monday, Patriarch Joseph is commemorated. According to the Old Testament, he was sold into slavery in Egypt. On this day in Bethesda, Jesus cursed a barren fig tree, which symbolized an unrepentant soul.

Traditionally, people start preparing their homes for Easter on Holy Monday.

Holy Tuesday

April 4 - for Catholics, April 11 - for Orthodox

On the second day of Holy Week, the parables of Jesus about the Last Judgment and the end of the world are recalled. Christ also prophesied that Peter would soon deny him and Judas would betray him.

Believers complete household chores, finish embroidering towels for Easter, and prepare vestments and tablecloths.

Holy Wednesday

April 5 - for Catholics, April 12 - for Orthodox

According to the New Testament, it was on this day that Judas betrayed Christ for 30 pieces of silver. It is customary to go to confession in churches.

Ukrainians start cooking eggs and dyeing Easter eggs.

Maundy Thursday

April 6 - for Catholics, April 13 - for Orthodox Christians

On this day, the Last Supper took place before the crucifixion. Jesus gave the apostles wine and bread, which became the prototype of the first rite of communion.

Believers remember the suffering of Christ, go to church and take communion. They also begin to bake Easter cakes.

Thursday is called Maundy Thursday. People said that water washes away all sins on this day. Houses are cleaned, clothes are washed, and windows are washed.

Good Friday

April 7 - for Catholics, April 14 - for Orthodox

On this day, Jesus Christ was crucified on Mount Calvary. Good Friday is a day of mourning.

Churches take out the shroud, an image of Christ lying in the tomb. Some believers refuse to eat on Good Friday until the priests bring out the shroud.

Holy Saturday (Lazarus Saturday)

April 8 for Catholics and April 15 - for Orthodox Christians

Lazarus Saturday is the last day of Holy Week. It is customary to remember how Jesus raised the righteous Lazarus.

On this day, people finish preparing the Easter basket and prepare to celebrate Easter. It is the last day of Lent.

Folk prohibitions during Holy Week

Since ancient times, people tried to spend the last week before Easter in peace and harmony. People did not quarrel, shout, do evil, or start conflicts. Hard physical labor was postponed until after Easter.

During Holy Week, they did not celebrate weddings and name days, nor did they commemorate the dead. It was said that one should not refuse to help someone who asked for help.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told about the traditions of Easter among Orthodox Christians, as well as named the dates of the holiday until 2030.

Subscribe to OBOZREVATEL channels on Telegram and Viber to keep up with the latest developments.

Other News