By Jennifer Brinker, Joseph Kenny and Dave Luecking
In Holy Week, we honor the pinnacle of the Catholic faith, when Jesus rose from the dead as part of God's salvific plan for humanity. This is bigger than Christmas. It's a reminder of His infinite mercy for us, and a time in which we grow closer to Him in love.
Anointing, in Biblical and other ancient symbolism, is rich in meaning: Oil is a sign of abundance and joy; it cleanses (anointing before and after a bath) and limbers (the anointing of athletes and wrestlers); oil is a sign of healing, since it is soothing to bruises and wounds; and it makes radiant with beauty, health, and strength. Anointing with oil has all these meanings in the sacramental life (CCC 1293-4).
Most people know about the big celebrations of Holy Week — Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, Easter Mass.