Each of the days of Holy Week has its own traditions of services in the West. Believers are encouraged to follow in their prayers with readings from the Gospel the account of each of the actions from the time of the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the crucifixion and death of Jesus on Good Friday and the resurrection on Easter Sunday. While each day has special mass celebrations in the Western churches, the week's most elaborate services are on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter. In the Reformation, emphasis was taken away from the Passion and placed upon the resurrection of Jesus, but contemporary Protestant Churches, like the Roman Catholic Church, holds the three days between Good Friday and Easter to be the holiest days of the calendar.
Eastern Orthodox Christianity
In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Great Lent officially ends on Lazarus Saturday, the day before Palm Sunday, which is a week before Pascha or Easter. One typical schedule for prayers for Holy Week is:
- Bridegroom Matins for Holy Monday through Holy Thursday, held from Sunday evening of Palm Sunday through the following Wednesday evening
- Divine Liturgy of the Last Supper held on Holy Thursday
- Vespers of the Twelve Gospel Readings held on the evening of Holy Thursday
- (more to be added)