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8 Prayers for Holy Week

It’s the most sacred week in the liturgical year. However you observe the period between Palm Sunday and Easter, here are eight prayers to mark each day.

Wooden cross with fresh palm. 8 Prayers for Holy Week
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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However else you might observe Holy Week—the culmination of Lent and the period between Palm Sunday and Easter—prayer is always a good idea for such momentous moments. In many churches, there will be liturgical drama from the washing of feet to the stripping of an altar. How to pray during a week of both triumph and betrayal? Here are eight suggested prayers for Holy Week to take you from Holy Monday to Resurrection Sunday and beyond.

Read More: How to Pray Your Way to Holy Week

1)  Holy Monday

Lord Jesus, You entered the Jerusalem Temple to cleanse it of corruption and abuse. As this Holy Week commences, search and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me and lead me in the way of everlasting life. Amen. (Based on Psalm 139:23-24 WEB)

Read More: A Holy Week Journey from the Last Supper to Easter


Cross in the sunlight

2)  Holy Tuesday

Jesus, it was on a Tuesday that You spoke out against abuse of power, collaboration with oppressors, misuse of authority. So today I pray, Comforter of the abused, strengthen those burdened by corrupted rule or injustice; rescue the overwhelmed; be present to those who call on Your name, to those I know and name as well as those whose concerns are known only to You. Amen.

Read More: This Holy Week, The Promise of Hope

3)  Holy Wednesday

Gracious Lord Jesus, this day is traditionally called “Spy Wednesday,” because we remember how Judas Iscariot conspired with the religious authorities to betray and deliver You into their hands. Yet also on that day You were lovingly anointed with precious oil as an act of sincere worship. What highs and lows You endured for the sake of the purpose that was set before You: to suffer and die for our sake. Walk with me through the highs and lows of my life, reminding me that whatever troubles come my way, You are worthy of my trust and adoration. Amen.

Read More: 2 Words to Pray During Holy Week

4)  Maundy Thursday

Lord, on this Maundy Thursday (so named for the “mandate” You gave to your followers to love and serve each other), as I remember your last supper in the upper room, I pray, as Simon Peter did: Please wash, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head (John 13:9). And my heart. And my mind. And my life. Amen.

Read More: The Heart of Maundy Thursday

Christ carrying the cross

5)  Good Friday

No Cherub’s heart or hand for us might ache,
No Seraph’s heart of fire had half sufficed:
Thine own were pierced and broken for our sake,
O Jesus Christ.

Therefore we love Thee with our faint good-will,
We crave to love Thee not as heretofore,
To love Thee much, to love Thee more, and still
More and yet more.

(By Christina Rossetti)

Read More: Happy Holy Week—The Pain of Good Friday, the Joy of Easter

6)  Silent Saturday

Lord Jesus, this day is called “Silent Saturday” in the memory of the Church, for on that day after Your crucifixion, Your body lay in the tomb while those who had loved and followed You spent the day filled with crushing grief, confusion, and doubt. So, Lord, remind me today that, however sad, confused, and doubtful I may feel, in my flesh, You are always at work, and Your plans for me are good. Amen.

Read More: The Bible’s Only Holy Week Dream—What Does It Tell Us?


Cross with white lily

7)  Resurrection Sunday

It is only right, with all the powers of our heart and mind, to praise You, Father, and Your only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: Dear Father, by Your wondrous condescension of loving-kindness toward us, Your servants, You gave up Your Son. Dear Jesus, You paid the debt of Adam for us to the Eternal Father by Your blood poured forth in loving-kindness. You cleared away the darkness of sin by Your magnificent and radiant resurrection. You broke the bonds of death and rose from the grave as a conqueror. You reconciled heaven and earth. Our lives had no hope of eternal happiness before You redeemed us. Your Resurrection has washed away our sins, restored our innocence, and brought us joy. How inestimable is the tenderness of Your love! (Based on Saint Gregory the Great’s Easter prayer)

Read More: How to Pray in Light of the Resurrection

8)  Easter Monday

Lord Jesus, here on Easter Monday, let me not succumb to the lazy thought that Easter and Your resurrection are in my rear-view mirror, for you are alive evermore, and you are in me and with me today and tomorrow and forevermore. Let me live and walk, sleep and wake, eat and drink in the awareness of Your constant nowness. Amen.

I hope these prayers make your Holy Week a truly holy experience, in which you know the presence of the Risen Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Read More: How to Hold the Promise of Easter Forever

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