How much do you know about Holy Week and Lent?

They are both around Easter time, but there is more. Read below for two short quizzes borrowed from  And, be sure to click the title link that begins each quiz to see the references for each question.  By the way, you can sign-up for the newsletter from by clicking here.

United Methodist Holy Week Quiz < (link)

1. What do palm branches symbolize on Palm Sunday?
The correct answer is they were a symbol of victory in the Roman Empire.

John 12:13 and Matthew 21:8 refer to palm branches being laid on the path as Jesus rode into Jerusalem, which can now be seen as symbolic of his victory over death.

“Let these branches be for us signs of his victory; and grant that we who bear them may always acclaim Jesus Messiah by walking the way of his suffering and cross…” – from an ‘Order of Worship for Palm Sunday.’

2. What was Judas paid for identifying Jesus to the Roman soldier?
The correct answer is 30 pieces of silver.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, Judas went to the chief priests and agreed to hand over Jesus to soldiers in exchange for 30 pieces of silver. Judas later felt remorse for his actions and returned the silver to the high priests. The priests didn’t want to return this “tainted” silver to the treasury, so they used it to purchase the burial ground called Potter’s field.

3. The Upper Room Chapel in Nashville displays a carved wooden representation of…
The correct answer is The Last Supper.

The altar area at The Upper Room’s international headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. features a nearly life-size woodcarving of The Last Supper – the scene of Jesus and his disciples eating together during the Passover and prior to his crucifixion.

The Upper Room is a United Methodist ministry which provides publications, programs, prayer support, and other resources to help believers of all ages and denominations move to a deeper level of faith and service. The Upper Room is a part of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries.

4. Which was not said by Jesus the night before he died?
The correct answer is “Physician, heal thyself.”

Those words are found in Luke 4:23 (CEB): “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we’ve heard you did in Capernaum.’”

The gospel writers mention the others as part of Jesus’ agony in the garden of Gethsemane: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Put the sword back into its place. All those who use the sword will die by the sword.’” (Matthew 26:52 CEB); “Stay alert and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38 CEB); “But Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came and grabbed Jesus and arrested him.” (Matthew 26:50 CEB)

5. What are the Stations of the Cross?
The correct answer is moments in Jesus’ journey from his trial to the tomb.

The fourteen traditional Stations of the Cross, also called Way of the Cross, is a modern adaptation of a Christian tradition dating to the fifth century. Fourteen stations depict events of Jesus’ trial, execution and death, from praying alone the night before to speaking to his mother and John from the cross to his burial.

Walking the “Way of the Cross” can be used as a devotion at any time for reflection on Christ’s suffering and sacrifice but is most often observed on Good Friday.

6. What does a Tenebrae service consist of?
The correct answer is extinguishing of candles.

Tenebrae is a Latin word meaning darkness or shadows. During a Tenebrae service, usually held on Good Friday, worshipers hear readings describing Jesus’ final hours from his arrest through his crucifixion, death, and placement in the tomb. After each reading, a candle is extinguished, darkening the room just a little. Before the final reading the Christ candle is extinguished or removed, leaving the room completely dark. On Easter Sunday the candle is returned, a symbol of Jesus’ resurrection.

7. What does INRI mean on a crucifix?
The correct answer is Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.

John 19:19-23 (CEB) describes the sign put above Jesus’ head on the cross: “Pilate had a public notice written and posted on the cross. It read ‘Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews.’ Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. Therefore, the Jewish chief priests complained to Pilate, ‘Don’t write, The king of the Jews’ but ‘This man said, I am the king of the Jews.’ Pilate answered, ‘What I’ve written, I’ve written.’”

8. Why are eggs associated with Easter?
The correct answer is all of the above.

The eggs symbolize new life, the joy of the Resurrection, and the tomb from which Jesus rose.

9. Which of these Easter hymns did Charles Wesley write?
The correct answer is “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies.”

In 1740, Charles Wesley wrote the lyrics to Hymn #173 with the original title “A Morning Hymn.” Filled with Scriptural references, the hymn personifies “Sun,” “Dayspring” and “Daystar” in the person of Jesus Christ and emphasizes the differences between light and darkness. After triumphing “o’er the shades of night,” Jesus scatters the singers’ unbelief, leaving us to shine in “the perfect day.”

10. Why do some churches hold Easter sunrise services?
As the women went to the tomb early on the first Easter Sunday morning, so too many United Methodists will gather for worship before sunrise. These Easter Sunrise Services are filled with symbolism of light, renewal, and resurrection.

There are a variety of stories about the origins of Easter Sunrise Service. Many are held near water or on hillsides, making it easier for the congregation to see the sunrise. Others are held in cemeteries, a reminder of Jesus’ victory over death and the resurrection to come.

United Methodist Lent Quiz < (link)

1. What does the term ‘Lent,’ which comes from ‘lencten,’ mean?
The correct answer is spring.

Lent comes from the Anglo Saxon word lencten, which means “spring.” The root words mean “long days,” and this combination probably refers to the increasing daylight at this time of year. Lent’s 40 days represent Jesus’ time in the wilderness, enduring temptation and preparing to begin his ministry.

2. How were ashes imposed in the early church?
The correct answer is ashes were poured or sprinkled over the head.
In the early days of the church, pastors did not dip their thumbs into the ashes to draw the shape of a cross on your forehead. Instead, they poured or sprinkled ashes over your head.

3. Why do people give things up for Lent?
The correct answer is all of the above.

Many people give something up for Lent like chocolate, social media, shopping, or a bad habit. These are modern-day adaptations of the spiritual discipline of fasting or abstinence.

John Wesley encouraged early Methodists to regularly practice abstinence or fasting as an act of piety, like praying or reading the Bible. He also taught that fasting was best when coupled with acts of mercy such as giving to the poor.

Rather than giving something up this Lent, you might choose to add a practice during Lent to achieve one or more of the same goals.

4. What snack food has significance during Lent?
The correct answer is pretzels.
The twisted pretzel is said to have its roots in Lent. According to legend, a 7th-century monk made bread from flour, water, and salt—no eggs or milk because they were avoided during Lent. He then formed it into the shape of a common prayer pose of the day, hands on opposite shoulders. You have to turn the pretzel upside down to see it.

5. Many people fast during Lent. How often did John Wesley fast?
The correct answer is twice a week.
John Wesley fasted from all food beginning after the evening meal through mid-afternoon the next day. He thought the practice an important form of penitence which allowed more time for prayer and believed it was more meaningful combined with giving to the poor.

Jesus went into the wilderness to fast for 40 days and nights. Fasting during Lent is a way of tuning in to the Christian idea of sacrifice. The United Methodist Church does not have official guidelines for the practice of fasting. Individuals are encouraged to make the best choice based on their personal situation.

6. Why does Lent last 40 days?
The correct answer is to represent the time Jesus spent in the wilderness, tempted by Satan. (Matthew 4:2).

Lent is a season of forty days, not counting Sundays, which begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Lent is a time of repentance, fasting and preparation for the coming of Easter.

7. What do some United Methodists not sing at Lent?
The correct answer is Alleluia.
Some United Methodist churches refrain from singing “Alleluia” and/or “Gloria” during Lent. This practice, sometimes called “Burying the Alleluia,” is a way of recognizing the solemnity of the season and anticipating the glorious praise we will get to sing as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday!

8. Which hymn, based on St. Patrick’s prayer, would be a good Lenten devotion?
The correct answer is “Christ Beside Me.”

Hymn #2166 in The Faith We Sing is adapted from the words on the breastplate of the famous early evangelist.

Verse one reads: “Christ be beside me;
Christ be before me;
Christ be behind me,
King of my heart.
Christ be within me;”

9. True or false? Sundays are not counted in the 40 days of Lent.
The correct answer is True.

Sundays in Lent are not counted in the forty days because each Sunday represents a “mini-Easter” and the reverent spirit of Lent is tempered with joyful anticipation of the Resurrection.

The video “Desktop Meditation: A Lenten Journey” offers you a chance to reflect on the 40 days of Lent through photos and singing of “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown.”

10. When early Methodists in America sat in a church on a mourner’s bench, they would…
The correct answer is All of the above.

Early Methodists used a sacred, but plain, uncomfortable wooden bench called the “mourner’s bench.” Those who knelt at the bench were supposed to repent their sins, find new birth and rededicate themselves to Jesus.

“You would go to the mourner’s bench and then after the service, like in many evangelical services today, the pastor and the lay leaders would come over and comfort you and pray for you,” says Mark Shenise from the United Methodist General Commission on Archives and History.

“It is plain. It’s just made out of available wood, long planks,” says Shenise. “They didn’t form it into a very nice looking piece of furniture. It wasn’t meant for that. It’s the old rugged cross.”

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