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  The Holy Triduum

Don’t miss out on the ending! For forty days we have celebrated the season of Lent, and we conclude our time meditating on the death and resurrection of Jesus. On Palm Sunday we hear the Gospel of Matthew and reflect on the final days of Jesus.  The procession of the community with palms hails Jesus as King. The Gospel brings to mind the final days “Crucify Him, crucify him.”


On the eve of Good Friday the Easter Triduum begins, remembering the final days of Jesus giving his life for all of us.  The evening Mass on Thursday as we not only remember the Last Supper of Jesus and his apostles. We listen to the gospel reminding us that Jesus is our example as servant. He washes the feet of the disciples.  Love one another as I have loved you.  Following the Mass the tabernacle is emptied and the Blessed Sacrament is taken to the Altar of repose.


Good Friday is the most sober day of the entire liturgical year.  The altar is bare, without cloths, candles or cross.  There is no Mass that day.  It is a day of fasting. The ritual continues as the priests and deacon come in and prostrate in humble submission.  The Passion of John is proclaimed.  In this gospel Jesus’ power and majesty shine through. Jesus is in control of everything. The cross is our glory.  We join in solemn intercessions.  Next a large cross is brought forward.  It is unveiled and presented to us. We approach the wood of the cross, the instrument of torture, cruelty and death, and we reverence it with a touch of a kiss. The Good Friday service concludes with a simple communion service.


On Holy Saturday we celebrate the “Mother of all Vigils”.  We wait and watch.  The vigil begins with a light service. A new fire is blessed and the Easter candle is lit and carried in procession.  The proclamation of Easter is sung, “Exult, all creation around God’s throne!” Readings from the Hebrew Scriptures tell of God’s saving acts. Together we proclaim the “Alleluia” and read the Gospel of Christ’s resurrection.  The water will be blessed and used for the first time to Baptize our candidates.


Each Easter we too are asked to renew our Baptismal Promises and we are blessed with the new holy water.

During Holy Week, we all need to do the exercises! In so doing we enter the death and resurrection of Jesus and allow his life to grow with us.  Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

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