Mormons & Holy Week
29 SEP 2017
The Christian Holy Week celebrates the last week in the life of Jesus Christ, and is the most essential week to the Christian Faith. Christians believe that during this week, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, celebrated his last supper, was arrested, tortured, executed and then rose from the dead. While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints celebrates the Easter holiday, it does not include rituals for each of the Holy Week's days, as other Christian denominations do.
1 Holy Week
During Holy Week, Christians celebrate the last week of Jesus' life. The week begins with Palm Sunday; Christians believe that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, and the crowd greeted him as the Messiah and placed palm leaves in front of him. Thursday of the week is known as Maundy Thursday. Maundy, deriving from the term mandate, comes from Jesus' commandment at the Last Supper to perform what would become the Eucharist; taking in bread and wine that symbolize his body and blood. Good Friday commemorates Jesus' torture and execution. Christians observe the day in solemn meditation and prayer, and some cultures include reenactments of the crucifixion. Holy Saturday marks the day Jesus spent dead. Finally, Easter Sunday is the holiest day of the Christian Calendar, when Christians believe Jesus rose form the dead, thus atoning for human sins.
2 Mormons and Jesus
Mormons believe that Jesus is the son of God, whom they call Elohim. He was Elohim's first spirit child, and all human beings are spirit children. In Mormon theology, Elohim conceived Jesus with the Virgin Mary. Like other Christian denominations, Mormons believe that Jesus was executed to atone for human sin and save people from death. Mormons do not believe people are born sinful, but they will eventually commit sin, which puts them in danger of losing salvation. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, Mormons believe all humans will be saved from physical death; they will reunite with their bodies during the Resurrection. However, if Mormons accept atonement, they will be saved from spiritual death, which is the separation between God and humans in the afterlife.
3 Mormon Views of Holy Week
Mormons do not celebrate every day of the Holy Week as other Christian denominations do. They do celebrate the Easter Sunday, but do not observe Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday or Holy Saturday. Instead, they condense the entire celebration into one Easter Sunday. The Mormon church believes that it is the most authentic form of the church that Jesus envisioned. They believe that humans added some traditions to the Christian faiths throughout the centuries, and those traditions do not represent authentic practices that derived from God.
4 Mormon Easter Celebration
Mormons celebrate the Holy Week events on Easter Sunday, and participate in traditions that lead up to the holiday. They tend to be quiet, simple celebrations that include activities such as listening to sermons, attending religious concerts or visiting art exhibits that feature depictions of stories about Jesus. Other traditions include visiting graves of deceased people and reading sacred texts with families. In one Easter tradition, grandchildren visit their grandparents, who teach them about the Mormon faith. On Easter Sunday, Mormons attend their communal worship service, and take the Sacrament, the symbolic bread and water that they believe represents the body and blood of Jesus.