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The Sacred Triduum: The Most Important Days of the Church Year

The Sacred Triduum: The Most Important Days of the Church Year

By Sr. Denise Herrmann, CSA

Mark your calendars for April 6, April 7, April 8, and April 9. These are the “high holy days” of the entire Church year: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. These days stand on the Church calendar as even more important than Christmas!

During the liturgy of these days, known as the Triduum, “the Church solemnly celebrates the greatest mysteries of our redemption, keeping by means of special celebrations the memorial of her Lord, crucified, buried, and risen.” (Roman Missal, The Sacred Paschal Triduum, par. 1)

The Triduum starts on the evening of Holy Thursday and concludes on the evening of Easter Sunday. The parts of the special celebrations are as follows:

April 6, Holy Thursday: 7:30 p.m. Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

  • Reception of the newly blessed oils from the Chrism Mass which Bishop Hying will celebrate at 10 a.m. on this morning.
  • The Scriptures of this Mass connect the Old Testament story of Passover and the New Testament accounts of the Last Supper at which Christ consecrated the bread and wine as his real body and blood and commanded the Apostles to “Do this in memory of me.”
  • This Mass commemorates the institution of the Eucharist & the Priesthood.
  • At the end of this Mass, a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to a place of Reposition in the Parish Hall where there is time for personal prayer with Christ until midnight.

April 7, Good Friday: 1 p.m. Celebration of the Lord’s Passion

  • The Scripture Proclamation of the Passion of Christ from the Gospel of St. John
  • Veneration of the Cross
  • Solemn Intercessions
  • Distribution of Holy Communion

April 8, Holy Saturday: 8 p.m. the Easter Vigil

  • Blessing of a new fire and the new Easter candle (outdoors, weather permitting)
  • Easter candle brought into church and the Light of Christ spreads through the congregation.
  • Singing of the Exsultet (the Easter Proclamation) by candlelight
  • Vigil of Scripture Readings: hearing and meditating on the stories of faith of our biblical ancestors
  • Blessing of the Baptismal Font and its new water
  • Renewal of our own Baptismal Promises
  • Baptism of our parish Catechumen
  • Sprinkling the congregation with the newly blessed Baptismal water
  • Reception into Full Communion of the Church of our RCIA Candidates
  • Liturgy of the Eucharist commemorating Christ’s death and resurrection

April 9, Easter Sunday morning: 7, 9, and 11 a.m. Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord

  • Renewal of our Baptismal Promises
  • Sprinkling the congregation with the newly blessed Baptismal water

The liturgy of the Sacred Triduum is the most profound and significant in our Catholic faith. Do not miss out on these special days!

“We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life, and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.”
- Cf. Gal. 6:14

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