Holy Monday, also called Great and Holy Monday is the first Monday of Holy Week. The day commemorates the important events that occurred during Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem: the cursing of the fig tree, the question of Jesus’ authority, and the Cleansing of the Temple.
Holy Monday is the Monday that falls before Easter Sunday. There are certain churches that celebrate Holy Monday, while others don’t. The day is observed by Christians around the globe, usually with Biblical readings, prayers, and certain hymns.
Holy Monday is, traditionally, the day when Jesus cleansed the temple and cursed the fig tree. It is the day after Palm Sunday when Jesus arrived on the triumphal entrance to Jerusalem.
When is Holy Monday in ?
Holy Monday falls on Monday, 29 March in Western Christianity (Catholic) – and on Friday, 11 April in Eastern Christianity (Orthodox).
Section#1: What is Holy Monday and What happened on this day?
Holy Monday is the first Monday of Christian Holy Week, the Monday before Easter Sunday, the second day of Holy Week in Western Christianity (Catholic Churches) after Palm Sunday, and the third day of Holy Week in Eastern Christianity (Orthodox Churches) after Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.
The Christian Scriptures mentioned certain events that actually happened on Holy Monday. Some of the most noteworthy of these were the fig-tree cursing (Matthew 21:18-22, Mark 11:20-26), questioning of the authority of Jesus (Matthew 21:23-27), the Temple’s Cleansing, and various parables.
Here is a complete set of events, words, and actions of Jesus on the Holy Monday of the Holy Week. Reading these, you will get a pure understanding of what really happened on Holy Monday.
1). Jesus and The Twelve Leave Bethany on Monday Morning & Jesus Curses The Fig Tree En Route To Jerusalem
Matthew 21:18-19 and Mark 11:12-14 mention that on Holy Monday morning, Jesus left Bethany for Jerusalem. During this return to the city, Jesus became hungry. Along the route, he saw a fig tree. But as he approached the tree, he found nothing on it but only leaves. Seeing this, Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered at once.
Have a look at the Gospel and Bible verses that tell about Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree on Holy Monday:
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again”. And his disciples heard him say it.
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!” “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
2). Angry Jesus Cleanses The Temple & Expels All Commercial Activities on Holy Monday “Take these things away – do not make my Father’s house a house of trade”, says Jesus!
(Matthew 21:12-17), (Mark 11:15-19), (Luke 19:45) and (John 2:13-16) mention the second event that happened on Holy Monday – which is known as the Jesus’ Cleansing of The Temple in Jerusalem.
It is said that Jesus visited the Temple in Jerusalem, where the courtyard was filled with livestock, merchants, and the desks of money changers who changed the standard Greek and Roman money for Jewish shekels.
There were men who were selling animals at a very expensive price at the temple – this was because Israelites needed animals and birds to sacrifice to God. The law of God said that when an Israelite engages in any sinful activity, he must make an offering to God by sacrificing an animal, as a way to compensate for their sins. And there were several other occasions as well when Israelites had to make livestock animals and birds sacrifices.
So the Temple of Jerusalem was the main hub of commercial activities at that time, where there was the sale of livestock animals at higher prices, there were money changers who changed Roman money for Jewish shekels and dove sellers who sold doves at high prices that were sacrificed by the poor people who couldn’t afford big sacrifices of a lamb or cow.
Seeing this situation at the temple, Jesus got angry. He turned over the desks of the money changers with money and scattered their coins. He made a whip of cords and drove all the animals out of the temple, and he angrily asked those who sold the animals, “Take them out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a place for making a lot of money.” He also accused the sellers of thieving poor people.
Have a look at Bible and Gospel verses that tell about Jesus’ cleansing of the temple on Holy Monday:
And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
3). On Holy Monday, The Chief Priests Question Jesus Of His Authority and His Liberty Of Doing As He Pleases – “By what authority are You doing these things?”, questions the priests!
(Matthew 21:23-27), (Mark 11:27-33), and (Luke 20:1-8) mention the third most important episode in Jesus’ life that occurred on Holy Monday.
While Jesus was teaching his followers in the temple, a group of chief priests and elders along with the teachers of the law came to him and questioned Jesus of his authority. They asked him as to what and whose authority is he doing the things he does, who gave him the liberty to cleanse the temple, who has given him the power to act as he desires?
During His earthly ministry and on many occasions, Jesus was questioned by His disciples, so that it was not unusual to question Him. The disciples of Jesus often asked Jesus questions about who is the greatest among us, the sign of Jesus’ second coming, and what the followers must do to gain eternal life etc. But the chief priests of that time had another agenda – the secret agenda to trap Jesus.
The religious leaders posed questions to Jesus so that they could trap him. If Jesus claims his authority came directly from God, the priests would easy accuse him of blasphemy and sentence him to death; if he claims his authority came from himself, they would be able to make fun of him and represent him as a foolish.
Instead of answering the priests straightforwardly, Jesus reacted with his very own question: ” John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”
Until this point, very little has been made of John the Baptist. John has served just a scholarly job for Mark: he presented Jesus and his destiny is portrayed as one that portended Jesus’ own.
This question by Jesus put the chief priests in great confusion. If they admit that John’s authority originated from heaven, they would have to admit the same case for Jesus, and yet be stuck in an unfortunate situation for not having welcomed him. If they admit that John’s authority came from man then they can keep on assaulting Jesus, but they will be stuck in an unfortunate situation because of John’s great popularity. So the priests and religious leaders stayed mum to Jesus’ question and refused to answer it.
Thus on Holy Monday, Jesus made the religious leaders and chief priests of that time ridiculously weak while also send them the message that the authority of Jesus came from God as did John!
Have a look at the Christian scripture verses that talk about Jesus’ Authority being questioned on Holy Monday:
When He entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to Him as He was teaching, and said, “By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?”
Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question. If you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. Where did the baptism of John come from? From heaven or from men?”
They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Then why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ we are afraid of the people, for all hold John as a prophet.”
So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.”
And they come again to Jerusalem: and as he was walking in the temple, there come to him the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders, And say unto him, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority to do these things?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men? answer me.
And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed. And they answered and said unto Jesus, We cannot tell. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Holy Monday Devotion: The Monday of Holy Week Devotional
And Jesus…drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.—Matthew 21:12
We see how Jesus got angry over the commercial activities going inside the temple of Jerusalem. He goes straight into the temple, and cleanses it from animal-sellers, upside down the tables of money changers, and pushes the livestock out of the temple. The process is referred to as sanctification, correction of life, getting directly with God, however, the meaning is the same.
Jesus recognized what stood between the people of Jerusalem back then and God. “Surprised & Astonished” is how Mark portrays individuals’ reaction to that temple cleansing.
Section#2: Learning The Importance of Holy Monday
In terms of the significance of Holy Monday and what the events occurring on this day means, the response to that is found in understanding how a fig tree is symbolically used in the Christian scriptures to represent Israel. Both the events had importance with regards to Israel’s spiritual condition.
With the Cleansing of the Temple and Getting angry over the commercial activities and the type of worship going on there, Jesus effectively denounced Israel’s worship of God. Jesus symbolically denounced Israel as a nation and even denounced the fruitless “Christians” (i.e. people who profess to be Christians, but who do not demonstrate any relationship with Christ).
For the nation of Israel, the presence of a productive and fruitful fig tree was viewed as a symbol of blessing from God and the prosperity of the region. So also, a fig tree death would symbolize judgment and expulsion. Symbolically, the fig tree represented the spiritual death of Israel, which, while an outwardly very religious and pious nation with all sacrifices and religious ceremonies, was spiritually fruitless because of their sins.
By cleansing the Temple and cursing the fig tree, making it whiter, Jesus was articulating his coming judgment of Israel and exhibiting his power to do it. The events of Holy Monday, likewise tell us that religious profession is insufficient to ensure salvation, except if there is the fruit of genuine salvation evidenced in the life of the individual.
When Jesus was questioned for his authority, He didn’t talk as those of the chief priests. He talked with God’s authority for he was God in the flesh. Jesus proceeds with today in the authority of God the Father, in this way, if we’ve not been, we have to begin now by submitting ourselves to his authority. We should submit ourselves to Christ authority and never dismiss his truth.
SECTION # 3: Holy Monday in Western Christianity – Learn Everything About Holy Monday Dates, Prayers and Worship Observances in the Roman Catholic Church
This section covers the complete facts and observances of Holy Week Monday in the Roman Catholic Church. Learn about Catholic dates, celebrations, prayers, and worship services for Holy Monday. Also, learn about the days of the Holy Week that come before and after Holy Monday in Western Christianity.
When is Holy Monday Catholic ?
This year’s Holy Monday for Catholic Church falls on – Monday, March 29th.
Holy Monday in Catholic Church (2018-2025)
|2018||Holy Monday||26 March||Catholic|
|2019||Holy Monday||15 April||Catholic|
|2020||Holy Monday||6 April||Catholic|
|Holy Monday||29 March||Catholic|
|2022||Holy Monday||11 April||Catholic|
|2023||Holy Monday||3 April||Catholic|
|2024||Holy Monday||25 March||Catholic|
|2025||Holy Monday||14 April||Catholic|
Holy Week Monday to Easter Sunday in the Catholic Church
Here’s the table of the days; starting from Holy Monday of the Holy Week and running till the Easter Sunday of Holy Week.
Holy Week Days in Roman Catholic Church
Holy Week Day
|28th March||Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem|
Cursing of the Fig Tree – Temple Cleansing – Jesus Authority Questioned
Commemorates the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the talents
Commemorates the Bargain of Judas and the Parable of the Two Debtors
Commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ
Commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ
Marks the day Jesus’ body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell
|Easter Sunday||4th April|
Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead
Holy Monday Prayers & Worship Services in Catholic Church
In the Roman Catholic Church, the Gospel lesson at Holy Monday Mass is (John 12:1-9). Additional readings for Holy Monday are (Psalm 27:1-3, 13-14) and (Isaiah 42:1-7).
The Holy Monday Scripture lessons are Isaiah 42:1-9 (First Reading), 36:5-11 (Psalm), Hebrews 9:11-15 (Second Reading), and John 12:1-9, (Gospel Reading). These lessons, in the Revised Common Lectionary, are used by the Lutheran Churches, Old Catholic Churches, Anglican Communion, Reformed Churches, and Methodist Churches.
The Book of Worship for Church and Home in traditional Methodist usage provides for Holy Monday with the following Collect:
Grant, we beseech thee, almighty God, that we, who are in so many occasions of adversity, by reason of or frailty are found wanting, may yet, through the passion and intercession of thine only begotten Son, be continually refreshed; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.
SECTION # 4: Holy Monday in Eastern Christianity – Learn Everything About Holy Monday Dates, Prayers, and Worship Observances in the Orthodox Church
This section covers the complete facts and observances of Holy Week Monday in the Orthodox Church. Learn about Orthodox dates, celebrations, prayers, and worship services for Holy Monday. Also, learn about the days of the Holy Week that come before and after Holy Monday in Eastern Christianity.
When is Holy Monday Orthodox?
This year’s Holy Monday for Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox Church falls on – Monday, April 13th.
|Holy Monday in Orthodox Church (2018-2025)|
|2018||Holy Monday||2 April||Orthodox|
|2019||Holy Monday||22 April||Orthodox|
|2020||Holy Monday||13 April||Orthodox|
|Holy Monday||26 April||Orthodox|
|2022||Holy Monday||18 April||Orthodox|
|2023||Holy Monday||10 April||Orthodox|
|2024||Holy Monday||29 April||Orthodox|
|2025||Holy Monday||14 April||Orthodox|
Holy Week Monday to Easter Sunday in the Orthodox Church
Here’s the table of the days; starting from Holy Monday of the Orthodox Holy Week and running till the Easter Sunday of Orthodox Holy Week.
Holy Week Days in Orthodox Church
Holy Week Day
Celebrates the raising of Lazarus of Bethany
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
|11 April||The cursing of the Fig Tree – Temple Cleansing – Jesus Authority Questioned|
|26th April||Commemorates the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the talents|
Commemorates the Bargain of Judas and the Parable of the Two Debtors
|28th April||Commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ|
Commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ
|30th April||Marks the day Jesus’ body lay in the tomb and the Harrowing of Hell|
|Easter Sunday||1st May|
Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead
Holy Monday Prayers & Worship Services in Orthodox Church
Holy Monday in the Orthodox Church is called – Great and Holy Monday, or Great Monday. On this day, the congregation commemorates Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree and its withering. The hymns of Holy Monday in the Orthodox Church recall Joseph, the child of Jacob, whose honest suffering because of his brethren, and misleading accusation is a sort of the Passion of the Christ.
The day starts formally with Vespers on Palm Sunday night, rehashing a portion of the same hymns from the Praises of All Night Vigil the prior evening. At Small Compline, a Triode, composed by St. Andrew of Crete is recited.
The Matins service for Holy Monday Orthodox is the Bridegroom Service or Bridegroom Prayer. An icon of “Christ the Bridegroom” is set on an analogion in the temple’s center, depicting Jesus wearing the purple robe of mockery and crowned with a crown of thorns. The Matins Gospel read is from the Gospel of (Matthew 21:18-43). The Matins canon has just three odes in it and was written by St. Cosmas of Maiuma.
The four Gospels are read at the Little Hours (Third Hour, Sixth Hour, Ninth Hour) throughout the Holy Monday, ending at John 13:31:
Great and Holy Monday
Third Hour—The first half of Matthew
Sixth Hour—The second half of Matthew
Ninth Hour—The first half of Mark
At the Sixth Hour, there is a reading from the Book of Ezekiel 1:1-20
Furthermore, there are two Old Testament readings – Exodus 1:1-20 and Job 1:1-12. There’s no Epistle reading, however, there is a Gospel reading from Matthew 24:3-35.
Holy Monday Quotes, Wishes, Messages, Songs – Celebrating The Holy Monday of Holy Week Like True Catholics!
It’s the most important time of the year. Across the world, Christians get ready to celebrate Holy Monday and recall the special events that were a part of this day. If you are looking for a way to spread awareness to your loved ones on this day of Holy Week, this section is purely dedicated to your need.
We have gathered the best messages, thoughts, quotes, and song ideas for Holy Monday. As well as some joyful Holy Monday wishes that you can send to your friends and family on this day.
Beautiful Holy Week Messages & Wishes for Holy Monday
Happy Holy Monday Morning – May you have a wonderful day and a blissful Holy Week ahead. God Bless Everyone All For God’s Glory!
Holy Monday Blessing – May the Lord bless you and increase your faith. May you be filled with the Holy Spirit and Spread His love everywhere you go this Holy Week!
If we are to go with Christ in his greatness at the end of Holy Week, we should initially go into his holocaust and be really united to him, as he lies dead on Calvary. This Holy Monday, let’s meditate on our Lord, injured from head to foot out of affection for us.
Inspirational Quotes for Holy Monday of Holy Week
At the end of life, we won’t be judged by our educational status, how many diplomas we have received, how much wealth we have made. We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was clothless and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.” – Mother Teresa
We don’t know precisely what heaven will be like, but we know that when we die and it comes time for God to pass judgment on us, he won’t ask, ‘How many good things have you done in your life?’, rather he will ask, ‘What amount of sincerity, love, and adoration did you put into what you did?’
The fig tree represented the spiritual death of Israel, which, while an outwardly very religious and pious nation with all sacrifices and religious ceremonies, was spiritually fruitless because of their sins. We should be the living expression of God’s love and kindness: honesty in your heart, true faith in your mind, kindness in your eyes, and kindness in your smile.
Best Holy Monday Songs To Evoke a True Catholic Spirit in You
- Calvary by Sean Clive
- Holy Thursday by Nick Alexander
- Lamb of God by Trish Foti Genco
- Forsaken by John Flynn
- Psalm 42 (As the Deer Longs) by Lynn Geyer
- Eyes by Nancy Krebs
- Father (The Passion) by Bob Metivier
- Oh My People by Apostolica
- Via Dolorosa by Mel Kennedy
This was all you need to know about Holy Monday, or Holy and Great Monday, as you call it. Liked the info? Do share it with your Catholic and Orthodox friends, and let them understand the true meaning of Holy Monday.