Newsletter 9
The Easter Triduum
During this month, we go through the last part of Lent during which we have been trying to prepare ourselves for the commemoration of the Paschal Mysteries at the beginning of April. We may have been trying to spend time doing penance and praying as well as almsgiving. I know that there are many calls on our generosity which means that we have to dig deeper into our pockets but we are not expected to give what we cannot afford! If we have been a little neglectful of our Lenten penance, as we are half way through Lent, we could renew our effort for just a little longer!

 

The Last Sunday in Lent is called Passion or Palm Sunday when we remember the time when Jesus was welcomed into Jerusalem by the waving of palms.  We will be given a palm on the way into church and the priest will bless these as part of the ceremony before Mass begins.  There is also a long Gospel reading, commemorating the Passion and Death of Jesus.

 

The Easter Triduum

This is the name we give to the three Services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.  They can be compared to three acts of one great drama when the Paschal Mysteries are celebrated

 

Maundy Thursday.  This is when we commemorate the Last Supper and is an important occasion for celebrating the institution of the Eucharist.  There is also the foot washing ceremony, reminding us that this is what Jesus did at the Last Supper.  At the end of the celebration of the Eucharist, we must be prepared to go out and wash the feet of others, figuratively speaking.   At the end of the Service on Maundy Thursday, the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the tabernacle to a side chapel.

 

Good Friday.  Today, we remember that Christ died on the cross for us.  The taberncacle is empty and the altar has been stripped of all the cloths.   There is no Mass today.  Instead, the Service consists of

  • Scripture readings from both Old and New Testament
  • Prayers for various peoples of the world
  • Veneration of the Cross
  • Distribution of Holy Communion, reserved from yesterday’s Mass.

 

Easter Vigil  (Saturday evening).  The Resurrection of the Lord.

  • Service of Light.  Fire is lit outside the Church.  New Pascal candle blessed and lit from the fire.  Priest and people enter a dark church and gradually all candles are lit from the Paschal candle.
  • Liturgy of the Word.  Readings from Old Testament reminding us of Salvation History.  The bells are rung, altar candles lit followed by a Gospel reading.
  • Liturgy of Baptism.  Liturgy of Saints, Blessing of Baptismal water, Rite of Baptism & Confirmation,  Renewal of Baptismal vows.
  • Liturgy of the Eucharist  following the usual format.
The Mass of Easter Sunday is for those who
have been unable to attend the Easter Vigil.