Holy Week

Holy Week celebrations start on Palm Sunday, commemorating Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In the past, celebrations used to start on the Wednesday after Palm Sunday called l-Erbgħa tat-Tniebri when all the candles in church used to be switched off. Nowadays celebrations really take off on Maundy Thursday, with the commemoration of the Last Supper. Traditionally, the faithful pay visits to seven Altars of Repose, preferably in different churches. Several artistic examples of these altars, beautifully decorated for the occasion, are to be found in a number of parishes in Malta and Gozo. But the most popular are the Altars of Repose that set in the churches of Valletta, Imdina and of the Three Cities: Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea. Representations of the Last Supper table are put up in many towns and villages, and typically, the food used in these displays is distributed among the poor and needy of the parish. In the evening there are special masses during which there is the ceremony of the washing of the apostles’ feet.  This is held in almost all churches.  Then the church bells stop as a sign of mourning for Jesus’s death.

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