Palm Sunday recalls Christ's arrival into Jerusalem where he was greeted with palms. Some parishes celebrate this with the blessing of palm branches.
Holy Thursday remembers Christ's Last Supper with His apostles and His washing of their feet.
"[In churches] pastors throughout the world wash the feet of 12 'disciples,' which is symbolic of the call to service all of us baptized Christians have received," Hruby said.
Good Friday recognizes the death and crucifixion of Christ, followed by Holy Saturday, which commemorates Christ in the tomb.
In the 40 days and 40 nights prior to Easter — the day that celebrates Christ's resurrection — Christians recognize the time of Lent, which remembers the 40 days and nights Jesus Christ spent in the desert before His crucifixion.
"In the whole time of Lent, the liturgies are very subtle," Hruby said.
"There are no flowers in the church and there's a real solemn kind of policy.
"When Easter Sunday comes everything is very vibrant."
Father Marcos Gonzalez, of Holy Family Catholic Church, said the journey that begins during Holy Week brings with it a range of emotions.
"The contrast is tremendous," he said. "You begin on Palm Sunday with [Jesus'] journey into Jerusalem and then Holy Thursday with the joy of last supper, then comes Good Friday which shows death and betrayal, and Easter with the proclamation that Christ is risen."
The celebration of Easter begins for many Christians on Saturday evening with the Easter Vigil Mass and the lighting of the Easter fire, which Gonzales said symbolizes the light that Christ brought to people's lives.
"Easter Vigil Mass is most solemn and most important mass of the liturgical year," he said.
For Catholics, the mass involves scripture reading, singing praise and induction of new members into the church through Baptism, he said.
Many consider Christmas to be the most important holiday for Christians, it is actually Easter, Gonzales said.
"It is a type of rejoicing in the fact that Christ conquered death," he said. "Jesus saved us not by His birth — though that is also very important — but by His death and resurrection."
ROBERT S. HONG covers City Hall. He may be reached at (818) 637-3235 or by e-mail at robert.honglatimes.com.