Why Is It Called “Passion” Week? Etymology to the Rescue


Jesus CrossThis week, we celebrate and remember the final week of Jesus’s life and ministry before his death and resurrection, both events being cornerstones of the Christian faith. It is often called Passion Week, and the events leading up to his death are often called the Passion of the Christ (just like the movie!). But a few people might wonder… why it is called Passion Week? The word passion as generally understood today, at least, refers to a strong emotion, usually connected to romantic or sexual desires, but also to a strong gravitation towards something (e.g., when you’re passionate about something).

Jesus probably did feel strongly about his impending death and resurrection. But that’s not why we call it Passion Week.

Attributing this week of remembrance to the English word passion has a long history, much longer than any of us have been alive. It dates back at least to the…

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