I Admit, I’m a Holy Week Snob

I absolutely love Holy Week, especially the Triduum. It’s what we are all about. It is also Catholicism at its best. Today, we celebrated Palm Sunday Mass at St. Julie Billiart in Tinley Park…what a beautiful liturgy and a splendid way to enter into Holy Week.

When I say that Holy Week and the Triduum are Catholicism at its finest, I mean that the power of the liturgies…word and sign…touch us at our deepest core. Catholicism is sacramental…we rely on much more than words. We turn to symbol and ritual to express the profound mystery of faith.

Because these liturgies are so exquisite, I must admit to being a Holy Week snob…I absolutely cannot tolerate poor liturgy during Holy Week. I can barely tolerate poor liturgy at any other time of the year, but Holy Week includes the most powerful and profound rituals and symbols of our faith. To see these done in a perfunctory manner is intolerable.

OK….off of my high horse. Suffice to say, the liturgies of Holy Week have enormous catechetical power…they shape and form us while allowing us to express our deepest selves. Anything we can do to encourage our students to attend any of the Triduum services will go a long way in making an impact on their faith.

Let us pray that all those repsonble for preparing for these liturgies may be guided by the Holy Spirit to do so with the greatest respect and reverence.

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.


  1. Hi Joe,
    I am definately a a Triduum “snob”. This liturgy over three days cannot be only mediocre. It has to be the best we can do! It’s the most important thing we do as Catholics all year. It’s our holiest of holy days. The Church never uses the word “obligation” because it is assumed that Catholics know they should be there. These days are nourishment and insight for the whole year. We hear our most important scripture, we baptize and do Eucharist. I tell people to clear the decks…make the time to come to discover exactly why we are catholic Christians. Come and find out what this glory is that is ours in the cross of Christ. Come all three days, but especially the Vigil on Saturday night. “This is the Night…”

  2. Amen and Alle….oops, I almost used the “A” word during Lent!

    Thanks, Lauretta. Nice to know I’m not the only Holy Week snob!

  3. One of the components of our sacramental preparation for Confirmation is the candidates, parents, and sponsors coming to the Holy Thursday liturgy. They form a “candle light” honor guard on the pathway to the altar of repose … you are absolutely right of having them experience this liturgy … add the chrism being brought to the altar by a confirmation candidate … Fr. Bob washing and kissing the feet of parishioners, how we are a people of service, discipleship. One of three youth ministry goals — nurture young person’s actve participation in the life and mission of the parish… the experience is powerful.

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