Celebrating Holy Week and Easter
The Holy Week and Easter celebrations commemorate the final days of the life of Jesus Christ on earth, including His sacrifice, Crucifixion, and Resurrection. The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints emphasized the significance of Easter in its message, stating that through Jesus Christ, we have “the assurance of immortality and the hope of life eternal.” This year, Easter falls on Sunday, April 9, 2023.
Easter Resources from the Church
The Church News has published a variety of articles and resources to help members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrate Easter this year. In addition to the First Presidency‘s message, the Church has released a video about forgiveness by President Russell M. Nelson on Palm Sunday, remarks from leadership on Easter during the April 2023 General Conference, and information about Palm Sunday and its significance to Latter-day Saints. Other resources include the Mesa Easter Pageant, The Redeemer Easter concert, and Easter music and videos from The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square.
A Message of Hope from the First Presidency
In the First Presidency’s Easter message in the April 2023 Liahona magazine, President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring, emphasized that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice gives us hope for joy and peace not only in the next life but also during our present challenges. They state that through Him, we have faith that eternal joy is possible.
General Conference Remarks on Easter
During the April 2023 General Conference, Church leadership proclaimed Easter Sunday as the most important religious observance for followers of Jesus Christ. The Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ was referred to as the most significant and transcendent event ever recorded on earth. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles called Holy Week the most important week in human history and Easter as the most important holiday.
Palm Sunday Resources and Significance
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not strictly observe Palm Sunday, although Church leaders have acknowledged its significance. The April 2023 General Conference was not held on Palm Sunday. Christians observe Palm Sunday on the Sunday before Easter, which commemorates Jesus Christ’s entry into Jerusalem before His Crucifixion.
Good Friday is observed by Christians on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His final moments on the cross. To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Good Friday represents an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us and to express gratitude for His Atonement.
The Mesa Easter Pageant
Returning to the Mesa Arizona Temple, the Mesa Easter Pageant is an annual musical dramatization that presents various moments in the life of Jesus Christ as described in the King James Version of the New Testament. The event features over 400 costumed cast members, live animals, and special effects, highlighting the story of Jesus Christ from His humble birth to His Resurrection. The tradition began in 1938 as an Easter sunrise service on the temple grounds initiated by young members of the Church.
Sacrament Meetings on Easter Sunday
To commemorate the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will conduct sacrament meetings only in wards and branches on Easter Sunday, April 9. This directive was outlined in a letter from the First Presidency, signed by President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring, which was sent to Church leaders worldwide on February 15, 2023.