By: Sister Meredith, OCD
The Sacred Easter Triduum, or three holy days before Easter, is the summit of the Liturgical Year from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. “Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery” (usscb.org).
For many people who are Lenting, it’s easy to appreciate music when we’ve experienced a long period of silence or a delicious slice of German chocolate cake when you’ve fasted from dessert for 40 days. Well, let’s just say that the Sacred Triduum is essentially THE three final days before Easter when we are intentionally fasting and waiting with open hearts to receive the glorious graces of Christ’s Resurrection.
• The first day: Holy Thursday is when the Church recalls the day that Christ instituted the Holy Eucharist and the ordination of the Apostles as His first priests, and therefore it is a Mass of joy and thanksgiving.
• The second day: Good Friday is a special day of fasting, abstinence, and solemn recollection when we recall the Passion of our Lord and venerate the cross in which He died for us.
• The third day: Holy Saturday is the day in which the Church spends at our Lord’s sepulcher (a special place separate from the sanctuary of the Church where our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is reserved) meditating on His sacred passion and death alongside our Blessed Mother.
The beauty of these days echoes throughout history as a special time of preparation for Christ’s Resurrection, the greatest mystery of our Catholic Christian faith. If the Triduum is lived well, one can look back in order to look forward with hope and joy, as Christ our Savior rises from the dead, leaving us the hope of everlasting life!
Check back each day of the Triduum to find out how the Carmelite Sisters celebrate in preparation for Easter!