The Sacred Triduum, also known as the Paschal Triduum, is a Christian tradition that lasts for three days. The Triduum is the highlight of holy week and the Catholic Church’s liturgical yeartriduum at daylesford

The Triduum is a time to remember the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, his rising from the dead. This Christian celebration of the Roman Catholic church begins this year on the evening of Holy Thursday, March 28. The celebration concludes on the evening of Easter Sunday, March 31st, with Vespers and Compline for those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours.

The schedule for the Triduum at Daylesford Abbey of Norbertine priests in Paoli, PA is as follows:

Holy Thursday, March 28 at 7:30 pm – Eucharist.

Good Friday, March 29, there will be morning and midday prayers. There will also be a conference and a service of the Lord’s Passion. Additionally, there will be a Taizé gathering around the Cross.

 Holy Saturday, March 30, there will be morning and midday prayers. There will also be a Triduum conference and evening prayer. The day will end with an Easter Vigil, including Eucharist, at 8:00 pm.

Easter Sunday, March 31   8:30 am – Morning Prayer 10:30 am – Eucharist   4:30 pm – Easter Evening Prayer

 Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, is when we remember Jesus having his last meal with his apostles. He started the sacrament of the Eucharist (Holy Communion) and the priesthood on this day.  This is a powerful celebration in Catholic churches that includes Mass and the washing of feet. The presiding priest washes the feet of the servers and other people at Mass.

Many churches set up foot washing stations with a chair, a large bowl, a pitcher of water, and towels. A person washes and dries the feet of someone seated, and that person in turn washes the feet of the next person in line. This ritual represents Jesus’ humility when he washed his disciples’ feet. It serves as a reminder for us to treat others with kindness and compassion, just as he did for us.

Good Friday is a day for Christians to reflect and mourn the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is a day of fasting and abstinence.

This is the one day in the liturgical year when the Catholic Church does not celebrate Mass. During the Good Friday service, different people read the story of Jesus’ suffering. The congregation also participates by saying certain phrases.  People then come forward for the veneration of the cross, showing respect for the cross by touching it or kneeling and kissing it.

In some churches, people pass a large cross overhead by reaching up, holding it, and passing it forward through the assembly. The photo is of the Good Friday liturgy at Daylesford Abbey,

On Good Friday, people receive Communion from bread consecrated on Holy Thursday during the Mass of the Last Supper. The gathered worshippers exit in silence, to watch and wait, to pray and remember Jesus’s death on the cross.

Holy Saturday is a day of waiting and reflection for Christians. They reflect on Jesus’ crucifixion and wait for his resurrection. This day of watching and praying often ends with the Easter Vigil Mass held after sunset on Holy Saturday. The priest also celebrates Mass at several other times on Easter morning.

Catechumens and candidates who have participated in the RCIA process spend the morning on a retreat, watching and praying. They are eagerly awaiting full initiation into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.

The Easter Vigil is an extremely important ceremony in the church year and the church calendar. At the start of the Easter vigil, people gather around the Easter fire and then the Paschal candle is lit from the fire. People go to church to hear Scripture readings and welcome new members through baptism, confirmation, and communion.

This ceremony is a celebration of the story of salvation and Jesus’ resurrection. A time to celebrate the story of salvation and the resurrection of Jesus has come. The photo below is of the torch to light the Easter fire at Daylesford Abbey being brough into the church.

Some churches fully immerse people in water for Baptism, while others pour water over a person’s head instead. The catechumens and candidates listen to Scripture passages for Easter.

During confirmation, the priest anoints them with sacred chrism. They also receive the body and blood of Christ for the first time. This is an incredibly special moment for the newly initiated.

After receiving the bread and wine, many people return to their seats with tears in their eyes. They understand that they have just received Jesus in a special way.

Easter Sunday: Many churches have a sunrise Mass on Easter Sunday. This highlight of the liturgical year celebrates Jesus’s resurrection from the dead. Easter is an important celebration for Christians, with lots of joy and the telling of the Easter story from the Bible.

Families often celebrate this special day at their homes with the dying of Easter eggs. Children hope for a visit from the Easter bunny, and often an Easter egg hunt.

Excitement and joy mark this day, for the newly initiated Catholics and for family members young and old, as they gather to share stories and meals, celebrating Jesus’ Resurrection from the dead.