LUDLOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Christians all over the world and right here in western Massachusetts celebrated Palm Sunday today, which marks the start of Holy Week.

Holy Week is the last week of the liturgical season of Lent and begins on Palm Sunday. It is a sacred time in the Christian Calendar, encouraging the faithful to remember and participate in the Passion of Christ. Locally, Christians throughout Western Massachusetts kicked off Holy Week observances with Palm Sunday Services. 22news visited St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Ludlow, to learn more about the significance of this day.

Mgsr. Gosselin, of St. Elizabeth Parish in Ludlow, told 22News, “Holy Week is a beautiful week. We have some of the most beautiful services in the church and the second title and the more appropriate title is Passion Sunday because this is the first time this year that we read the entire passion of Jesus and everything he endured and suffered. Death on the cross to save us from our sins, but especially to prepare us for the greatest of all feats which is the feast of the resurrection which is the basis of our faith.”

Parishioner Catherine McCarthy regularly attends mass at St. Elizabeth’s with her family, but she told 22News that Holy Week is an especially meaningful time to worship. Catherine said, “Well it’s a very important time of year. Obviously, we’re celebrating Christ and it leading into Easter.”

Easter is just one week away for Christians in the Western Church. Holy Week holds the same meaning in both the Eastern and Western Church, but it’s celebrated at different times since Eastern Christians use the Julian Calendar.