Please consider experiencing the fullness of the Lenten season by attending Holy Thursday Mass at 6:30 pm, Good Friday Stations of the Cross at 2:30pm and Celebration of the Lord’s Passion at 3:00 pm, and either the Easter Vigil on Saturday Night at 8:30 pm or a Sunday morning Mass (7:00 am, 8:30 am, or 10:30 am). The Holy Thursday service, the Good Friday services, the Easter Vigil, and the 8:30am Easter morning Mass will all also be livestreamed and available to be viewed on our parish Facebook page.
An Introduction to The Triduum
What we do during the Easter Triduum is to remember the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ over a period of three days. We are called together at various times during the three days to remember different aspects of Jesus’ saving action on our behalf. When we are not in church, we try to spend our time at home more simply without the distractions of the “outside” world.
The Triduum is the three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Easter Sunday. The Church meets at times during those three days to remember what it is that Jesus has done for us. Lent often overshadows the Triduum, but the documents from Vatican Council II tell us “the Easter Triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ is the culmination of the entire liturgical year.” (General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, # 18)
Lent exists so that we can prepare ourselves for these three great days. What is remembered during these three days is so spectacular and miraculous that it takes the Church fifty days to celebrate it. From the close of Easter Sunday until Pentecost we celebrate with great joy that which Jesus has done for us. Thus we take forty days (Lent) to prepare, three days (Easter Triduum) to experience, and fifty days (Easter time) to celebrate the great mystery of our faith.
What the Triduum commemorates, that which makes it the “culmination of the entire liturgical year,” is the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus was willing to die for our sins and was resurrected, death no longer is the end of life for us. It is the beginning of new life. We gather at the Easter Triduum to remember the saving act of Jesus and the miracle of his resurrection. Because Jesus died and was resurrected, we live.
The term Triduum means “three days.” The three days are counted as the Hebrews counted their days, from dusk to dusk. Therefore, the three days of the Easter Triduum are from dusk on Holy Thursday to dusk on Good Friday (day one), dusk on Good Friday to dusk on Holy Saturday (day two), and dusk on Holy Saturday to dusk on Easter Sunday (day three). Each of those days “tells” a different part of the story of Jesus’ saving action. On Holy Thursday we remember the Last Supper. Jesus gives us the Eucharist and tells us to “Do this in memory of me.” He then washes the feet of the apostles. On Good Friday we remember the passion and death of Jesus. We celebrate the resurrection of Christ either at the Easter Vigil on Saturday night when new members are baptized and welcomed into our Catholic community or on Easter Sunday morning.
We look at the Easter Triduum as one single celebration that lasts for three days. We cannot separate the death of Jesus from his resurrection. We do not spend all of the three days in church, but at various times during those days, we are called to church to gather and remember together. When we are not in church, we are asked to keep the spirit of those days even in our homes, if possible. Those days are not days of “business as usual.”
The above information is used with permission from Nativity Catholic Church, Longwood, Florida 32750. Copyright 1998. All rights reserved
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