Holy Week 2021 – Wednesday

You are invited to walk Holy Week as a Hebrew person in 1st century Palestine. Imagine who you are, why you are in Jerusalem for Passover in the first place, and what you are going to see and feel as the week progresses.

Story Time



Mark 14 It was two days before Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and legal experts through cunning tricks were searching for a way to arrest Jesus and kill him. But they agreed that it shouldn’t happen during the festival; otherwise, there would be an uproar among the people.

10 Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to give Jesus up to them. 11 When they heard it, they were delighted and promised to give him money. So he started looking for an opportunity to turn him in.





from the didascalia (c. 230 CE)

Of your great kindness, Lord, you promised to forgive those who were sorry they had sinned against you; of your great mercy, you declared that sinners should be saved by repentance… prescribe repentance to me, because I am a sinner – my sins, indeed, are more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore. I have fallen so often, Lord, and I am not fit to raise my eyes to Heaven because I have so many sins on my conscience…

You are indeed the God of the repentant. Your treatment of me shows how kind you are: in your great mercy you would save even a wretch as I.

I will sing your praises all the days of my life, like the armies of Heaven, which never cease to acclaim your greatness.

Glory to you throughout the ages. Amen.


Egeria in the Holy land, c. 380 CE

Egeria was a nun from France who was touring the Holy Land in the late 4th century. She was in Jerusalem during Holy Week and provides the only eye witness account of how the early church celebrated.

On Wednesday everything is done throughout the day from the first cockcrow just as on Monday and Tuesday. However, following the dismissal at night at the Martyrium, the bishop is led to the accompaniment of hymns to the Anastasis. He goes immediately into the grotto within the Anastasis, and he stands within the railing. A priest, however, standing in front of the railing, takes up the Gospel and reads that passage where Judas Iscariot went to the Jews to set the price they would pay him to betray the Lord. While this passage is being read, there is such moaning and groaning from amongst the people that no one can help being moved to tears in that moment. Afterwards, a prayer is said, first the catechumens and then the faithful are blessed, and finally the dismissal is given.

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