The Easter Triduum, Summit of the Liturgical Year
The Easter Triduum is a celebration so powerful it extends for 3 days, from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. During these sacred times, we celebrate Jesus’ dying and rising, beginning with a special meal Jesus shared with his disciples at the Last Supper.
The Last Supper:
A presider washes the feet of others at the Last Supper liturgy. We are reminded of our call to serve others in this powerful, moving liturgy.
At the Last Supper, Jesus took bread and wine, common elements of many meals, and gave them a new significance for his followers. He showed that a new covenant is about to be put in place between God and His people.
Jesus blessed bread and broke the bread, telling the disciples, “Take, eat; this is my body.” He then passed a cup of wine to them, saying, “This is my blood.”
We Catholics share in Jesus’s Body at each Mass, when the consecrated hosts are given to people who come forward. Since Covid, the sharing of the cup has been limited, but is gradually reappearing for those who wish to partake.
After they finished eating, Jesus told His Apostles that they should love one another as He had loved them. If they did this, people would know they were His disciples.
What the Future Might Hold
Imagine what our world would be like today if people really loved one another. Mass killings might disappear, as would wars between countries.
Loving others comes closer to home too. How can we show our love for others as we reach out to the unhoused, to those who go to bed hungry, to those looking for a job that pays a living wage?
Jesus also said that if the Apostles loved Him, they would keep His commandments. He promised them the gift of the Holy Ghost, a foreshadowing of the great feast of Pentecost.
We remember what Jesus said and did on Pentecost. Celebrating this event, we recall that in the sacrament of Confirmation, we too receive the gift of the Holy Spirit in a unique way. Our challenge is to now bring this gift into concrete action.
We hear once again the story of Jesus’ Passion, how he was put to death on the cross. The Passion of Our Lord is from the Gospel of John, and we too join in segments as we listen and respond.
After the proclamation of the passion, we hear special prayers for the Church, our Pope, for the faithful, for catechumens, for the unity of Christians and for other powerful intentions. We listen, pray in silence, and then listen to the priest as he proclaims for these special intentions.
Next comes a powerful, moving segment of the liturgy, the Adoration of the Cross. People come forward to kneel, to touch or even to kiss the cross.
The veneration of the cross is followed by the communion rite, where people receive holy communion with hosts consecrated at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper the day before. Good Friday is the one day of the year when Mass is not celebrated.,
After communion, the priests and the people leave in silence, to ponder, to remember, to pray in preparation for the great celebration of Easter the next day.
There is a special Easter Vigil Mass, and then the Mass of the day. At the Easter Vigil Mass in parishes, the catechumens and candidates who have journeyed through the RCIA process are baptized, confirmed, and receive the Body and Blood of Jesus for the first time.
At this special Mass, priests can confer the sacrament of Confirmation on the newly baptized. We see the tears, the awe, and the smiles of joy when the newly initiated receive Communion is a powerful experience that reminds all of us how special receiving the Body and Blood of Christ truly is.
Sacred Triduum Schedule Daylesford Abbey.
Holy Thursday April 6
Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper April 6 at 7:30 pm
Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion Good Friday, April 7
8:30 AM – Morning Prayer
10:30 AM – Triduum Conference, “The Dance of Woe”
3:00 PM – Service of the Lord’s Passion
6:30 PM – Taizé Around the Cross
Holy Saturday April 8
8:30 AM – Morning Payer
10:30 AM – The Triduum Conference, “The Dance of Awe”
4:30 PM – Evening Prayer
8:00 PM – Easter Vigil and Eucharist
Easter Sunday, April 9
8:30 AM – Morning Prayer
10:30 AM – Eucharist
4:30 PM – Easter Evening Prayer
The Sacred Triduum is the summit of the liturgical year, a time when we can immerse ourselves in the dying and rising of Jesus. Although people may not be able to attend all the liturgies, being available for one or more can form unforgettable memories, powerful opportunities to be immersed in a deepening relationship with Jesus, our Savior and Lord. The opportunity awaits you. The next step is yours.