Chinese Church Voices

Chinese Churches Celebrate Holy Week

Chinese Church Voices is an occasional column of the ChinaSource Blog providing translations of original writing by Christians in China. The views represented are entirely those of the original author; inclusion in Chinese Church Voices does not imply or equal an endorsement by ChinaSource.

This article, from the mainland site Christian Times, gives an overview of how Holy Week is celebrated in China.

Holy Week has arrived the various ways the Chinese Church contemplates Jesus sufferings and prepares for Easter

Beginning with Palm Sunday, Christians worldwide have formally entered into the last seven days before Easter – Holy Week. [Translator's note: In Chinese, "Holy Week" is "Week of Suffering," and "Good Friday" is "Day of Suffering."]

During this week, churches all over China and all over the world engage in services, prayer, contemplation, and preaching to remember the sufferings of our Lord Jesus and prepare for Easter.

The period including Holy Week and Easter is the most important season for Christians, as we commemorate the last week our Lord Jesus was on earth: his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the crucifixion and his resurrection. During this spiritual week, believers meditate on the core of Christian doctrine, namely, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This past Palm Sunday, churches worldwide began to celebrate Holy Week through Palm Sunday services. Many believers in Lutheran and Anglican churches reenacted Jesus's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday by waving palm branches while entering the church. Pastors reminded believers that celebrating Palm Sunday means that Holy Week has begun. A few days after entering Jerusalem, Jesus Christ walked the path of the cross to redeem us and save us from our sins.

On Palm Sunday, in such places as Beijing, Shenzhen, and Wenzhou, Chinese churches also held Palm Sunday services, preaching from the Scriptures about Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, urging believers to think about the changes that Jesus brings us. Some churches even held Easter events to die Easter Eggs after services that day.

Besides Sunday church services, this week some churches will meet together each night to hear a sermon about what happened on the corresponding day during that first Holy Week. Other churches will have many prayer meetings. Another important activity in the Chinese church is the baptismal class before Easter. During this time period many churches invite people to register for and attend baptismal classes, affirm their faith, and be baptized.

Holy Week, according to the Christian liturgical calendar, is the last week of Lent. It includes Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday. It begins on Palm Sunday (in the East, on Lazarus Saturday) and goes until the night before Easter, but it doesnt include Easter. Thursday through Saturday, also called "the three-day Passover celebration," is the climax of Christian liturgical life.

Original article: 受难周来临 中国教会以各种形式默想受难迎接复活节

Image credit: Joann Pittman
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