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.
Mark 14:12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was sacrificed, the disciples said to Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?”
13 He sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city. A man carrying a water jar will meet you. Follow him. 14 Wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The teacher asks, “Where is my guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?”’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs already furnished. Prepare for us there.” 16 The disciples left, came into the city, found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover meal.
17 That evening, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 During the meal, Jesus said, “I assure you that one of you will betray me—someone eating with me.”
19 Deeply saddened, they asked him, one by one, “It’s not me, is it?”
20 Jesus answered, “It’s one of the Twelve, one who is dipping bread with me into this bowl. 21 The Human One[b] goes to his death just as it is written about him. But how terrible it is for that person who betrays the Human One! It would have been better for him if he had never been born.”
22 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 He took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 I assure you that I won’t drink wine again until that day when I drink it in a new way in God’s kingdom.” 26 After singing songs of praise, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
Predictions about disciples leaving Jesus
27 Jesus said to them, “You will all falter in your faithfulness to me. It is written, I will hit the shepherd, and the sheep will go off in all directions.28 But after I’m raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”
29 Peter said to him, “Even if everyone else stumbles, I won’t.”
30 But Jesus said to him, “I assure you that on this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”
31 But Peter insisted, “If I must die alongside you, I won’t deny you.” And they all said the same thing.
Jesus in prayer
32 Jesus and his disciples came to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus said to them, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James, and John along with him. He began to feel despair and was anxious. 34 He said to them, “I’m very sad. It’s as if I’m dying. Stay here and keep alert.” 35 Then he went a short distance farther and fell to the ground. He prayed that, if possible, he might be spared the time of suffering. 36 He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible. Take this cup of suffering away from me. However—not what I want but what you want.”
37 He came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay alert for one hour? 38 Stay alert and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again, he left them and prayed, repeating the same words. 40 And, again, when he came back, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open, and they didn’t know how to respond to him. 41 He came a third time and said to them, “Will you sleep and rest all night? That’s enough! The time has come for the Human One to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up! Let’s go! Look, here comes my betrayer.”
43 Suddenly, while Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, came with a mob carrying swords and clubs. They had been sent by the chief priests, legal experts, and elders. 44 His betrayer had given them a sign: “Arrest the man I kiss, and take him away under guard.”
45 As soon as he got there, Judas said to Jesus, “Rabbi!” Then he kissed him. 46 Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
47 One of the bystanders drew a sword and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his ear. 48 Jesus responded, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me, like an outlaw? 49 Day after day, I was with you, teaching in the temple, but you didn’t arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 And all his disciples left him and ran away. 51 One young man, a disciple, was wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They grabbed him, 52 but he left the linen cloth behind and ran away naked.
A hearing before the Sanhedrin
53 They led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests, elders, and legal experts gathered. 54 Peter followed him from a distance, right into the high priest’s courtyard. He was sitting with the guards, warming himself by the fire. 55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they couldn’t find any. 56 Many brought false testimony against him, but they contradicted each other. 57 Some stood to offer false witness against him, saying, 58 “We heard him saying, ‘I will destroy this temple, constructed by humans, and within three days I will build another, one not made by humans.’” 59 But their testimonies didn’t agree even on this point.
60 Then the high priest stood up in the middle of the gathering and examined Jesus. “Aren’t you going to respond to the testimony these people have brought against you?” 61 But Jesus was silent and didn’t answer. Again, the high priest asked, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the blessed one?”
62 Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Human One[f] sitting on the right side of the Almighty and coming on the heavenly clouds.”
63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we need any more witnesses? 64 You’ve heard his insult against God. What do you think?”
They all condemned him. “He deserves to die!”
65 Some began to spit on him. Some covered his face and hit him, saying, “Prophesy!” Then the guards took him and beat him.
Peter denies Jesus
66 Meanwhile, Peter was below in the courtyard. A woman, one of the high priest’s servants, approached 67 and saw Peter warming himself by the fire. She stared at him and said, “You were also with the Nazarene, Jesus.”
68 But he denied it, saying, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t understand what you’re saying.” And he went outside into the outer courtyard. A rooster crowed.
69 The female servant saw him and began a second time to say to those standing around, “This man is one of them.” 70 But he denied it again.
A short time later, those standing around again said to Peter, “You must be one of them, because you are also a Galilean.”
71 But he cursed and swore, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”72 At that very moment, a rooster crowed a second time. Peter remembered what Jesus told him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down, sobbing.
from the leonine sacramentary (c. 550 CE)
O Lord our God, refresh us with quiet sleep, when we are wearied with the day’s labour; that being assisted with the help which our weakness needs, we may be devoted to thee both in body and mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Be present, O Lord, to our prayers, and protect us by day and night; that in all successive changes of times we may ever be strengthened by thine unchangeableness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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 Thursday whatever is customarily done from the first cockcrow until morning and what is done at the third and sixth hours takes place as the Anastasis. At the eighth hour all the people gather as usual at the Martyrium, earlier, however, than on other days, because the dismissal must be given more quickly. When all the people have assembled, the prescribed rites are celebrated. On that day the sacrifice is offered at the Martyrium, and the dismissal from there is given around the tenth hour. Before the dismissal is given, however, the archdeacon raises his voice, saying: “At the first hour of the night let us assemble at the church which is on the Eleona, for much toil lies ahead of us on this day’s night.” Following the dismissal from the Martyrium, everyone proceeds behind the Cross, where, after a hymn is sung and a prayer is said, the bishop offers the sacrifice and everyone receives Communion. Except on this one day, throughout the year the sacrifice is never offered behind the Cross save on this day alone… everyone goes to the Eleona, to the church where the grotto is which the Lord gathered with His disciples on that day is located. And there until around the fifth hour of the night, they continually sing hymns and antiphons and read the scriptural passages proper to the place and to the day. Between these, prayers are said. Moreover, they read those passages from the Gospels in which the Lord spoke to His disciples on that day while sitting in the same grotto which lies within this church. And from here, around the sixth hour of the night, everyone goes up to the Imbomon, singing hymns. That is the place from which the Lord ascended into heaven. There also they sing hymns and antiphons and read scriptural passages proper to the day; and whatever prayers are said, whatever prayers the bishop recites, they will always be proper to the day and to the place.
As soon as it begins to be the hour of the cockcrow, everyone comes down from the Imbomon singing hymns and proceeds towards the very place where the Lord prayed, as it is written in the Gospel: “And He went as far as a stone’s throw and He prayed”, and so forth. On that spot stands a tasteful church… Next, everyone, including the smallest children, walk down from there to Gethsemani, accompanying the bishop with hymns. Singing hymns, they come to Gethsemani very slowly on account of the great multitude of people, who are fatigued by vigils and exhausted by the daily fasts… On arriving in Gethsemani a suitable prayer is first said, followed by a hymn, and then the passage from the Gospel describing the arrest of the Lord is read. During the reading of this passage there is such moaning and groaning with weeping from all the people that their moaning can be heard practically as far as the city… From there, throughout the center of the city, all without exception are ready at hand, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, everyone: and on this day especially no none withdraws from the vigil before early morning… When they finally arrive before the Cross, it is already beginning to be broad daylight. There then is read the passage from the Gospel where the Lord is led before Pilate, and whatsoever words are written that Pilate spoke to the Lord or to the Jews, all this is read.