Many churches combine Palm Sunday's triumphant entry into Jerusalem with Jesus' Last Supper and the trial, conviction, crucifixion, death and burial narratives because many people don't attend any Holy Week Services.
• Isaiah 50:4-9a • Philippians 2:5-11
Palm Sunday gospel reading for this lectionary year: Luke 19:28-40 • Passion Sunday gospel reading: Luke 22:14-23:56
Maundy – "Mandate" – Thursday
The Three Days is a single liturgy that begins with Maundy Thursday's worship that concludes without a benediction, often ends with the worship space stripped and in darkness. Historical Lenten practice waits until Maundy Thursday to pronounce absolution or forgiveness to the gathered assembly.
• John 13:1-17, 31b-35 • Exodus 12:1-4, [5-10], 11-14
• Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 • 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
The Three Days continue on Good Friday, the day of Jesus' death. Although the Revised Common Lectionary specifies scripture readings for Friday, many churches' traditions include other scriptures such as noon through 3 pm with Jesus' seven last words or statements, reading or singing one of the full scriptural passion narratives in the evening, or something else.
The day nothing apparently happens is the day everything actually happens. We spend a lot of our lives in the interstitial, liminal time between Good Friday afternoon and Easter Sunday dawn. Theology of the cross especially lifts up this day before Easter when we almost hang suspended in time anticipating gifts of rebirth, of spring, of new life.
Easter / Resurrection
Easter is fifty days, a week of weeks! The Day of Pentecost is the fiftieth day of Easter. The Three Days/Triduum liturgy concludes by celebrating Jesus' resurrection. The Council of Nicaea (325) that gave us the Nicene Creed calendared Easter for the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.
The Vigil of Easter revisits the meta-narratives of creation and of deliverance from death to life in the Exodus and Passion/Easter stories. The essential readings for the Vigil of Easter:
• Genesis 1:1—2:4a • Exodus 14:10-31; 15:20-21 • Ezekiel 37:1-14
• Jonah 1:1—2:1-3 [4-6] 7-9 • Romans 6:3-11
• Luke 24:1-12 [for this year of Luke's gospel]
Easter Sunrise / Morning
• Acts 10:34-43 • Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 • 1 Corinthians 15:19-26
• Luke 24:1-12 or John 20:1-18
• Isaiah 25:6-9 • Psalm 114 • 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8 • Luke 24:13-49