Tag Archives: Triduum

All Those Readings!

In the liturgies of the Paschal Triduum, our annual three-day observance of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection, we do ceremonies that are different from our customary weekly or daily celebrations, things that are a bit unusual, things we only do once a year.  When you participate in these holy rituals on these sacred days, you know that it’s not “business as usual.” This is certainly true of the Easter Vigil, the high point of the Triduum.  For one thing, it’s long, much longer than a typical Sunday service.  But that is the point.  The Easter …

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Holy Saturday: Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter

Rebirth. New Life. Gratitude. Salvation. Joy. The real true story of our lives is that we live in darkness much of the time. We simply don’t know why we do the things we do, why tragedy befalls us, or how to live our lives with meaning and purpose. We stumble around in the dark trying to make things work, trying to make sense of it all, and trying to connect with the people we love. We fail often. But, sometimes we connect on a level that changes everything. That kind of connection gives us joyful …

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From Sin to Risk to Suffering to Resurrection!

We have been on quite a journey over these last six weeks, haven’t we? First we came to terms with our own mortality and sinfulness.  Remember you are dust.  Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.  We received a healthy dose of humility.  We pledged to be better.  And we worked to become so. Then, about a month later, we were invite to pray with the Feast of the Annunciation, the commemoration of Mary and her yes and where that got her and where that got us.  I think of the Annunciation …

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Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord

Sacrifice. Loss. Mourning. Silence. Worship. When we first enter the church on Good Friday, we are immediately confronted with barrenness. The sanctuary is stripped of all ornamentation—no flowers, candles or altar linens. Some churches also cover up all the statues and icons with a purple veil. We are left with feelings of loss and deep sorrow. Good Friday commemorates the anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion and death. For Catholics, Good Friday is not just an historical event, but the sacrificial death of Christ which, with the resurrection, comprises the heart of what it means to be …

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One Mass, Three Days

Time is a funny thing. We say that time flies. We also say that time crawls. Sometimes, it seems that the days go by so quickly it’s difficult to really appreciate the gift that it is. From my vantage point, it seems that Lent just started and we’re already at the Triduum! The Triduum is both the shortest Liturgical Season and the longest continuous liturgical celebration – three days of prayer, reflection, and celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Perhaps it is the Church’s way to slow us down enough to recognize and …

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Holy Thursday: The Mass of the Lord’s Supper

The liturgy of Holy Thursday is called the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, a commemoration of Jesus’ last supper before his arrest and crucifixion. As part of their Jewish heritage, Jesus and his Apostles gathered to celebrate Passover—an annual remembrance of how God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt centuries before. Passover, as it was celebrated in Jesus’ time and still is today, occurs around a meal. Food is a predominant feature in this celebration, especially unleavened bread and wine. It was at this Passover meal that Jesus changed the prescribed rite by taking …

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The Greatest Week of the Year

For me, Holy Week has been for many years the most powerful liturgical experience of all. Part of this feeling comes from working with the RCIA for so long and part of it comes from the beauty of the liturgies themselves. They have so many deep and meaningful symbols that speak to what Christianity is all about. There are processions, incense, candles, darkness, foot washing, oil, water, and so much more. There are scripture readings about the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, the Passion narratives, the profound reading from Philippians about Jesus life and death, …

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The Sacred Three Days

Like every year, it seems, Lent has flown by and is nearly over. Soon we will be celebrating the Paschal Triduum, our annual three-day observance of the paschal mystery of Jesus’ saving death and resurrection, the culmination and center of our liturgical year. Which days are the three days?  This is something often misunderstood.  Numerous times over the years I have read or heard people assert that the three days are Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.  The Triduum is then presented as preceding Easter Sunday.  Not so.  “The Easter Triduum begins with the …

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