Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing The Corner Office

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Apr 11, 2019

Dear Friends,

The Easter Triduum, the ultimate liturgical celebration of our faith tradition, is really – one celebration over three days.  Today I share with you some details of this ultimate liturgical celebration of our Catholic faith, which we celebrate this week.

The Easter Triduum is also known as the Paschal Triduum.  The Triduum includes Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Vigil/Sunday; these thoughts are intended to encourage you to participate in all of the Easter Triduum.  The Triduum begins and the Lenten Season ends with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday; and the Triduum reaches its high point at the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday evening.   

The presentation of the Holy Oils to the parish is a significant part of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday.  The Holy Oils are consecrated and blessed by Bishop Matano at the Chrism Mass at Sacred Heart Cathedral on Tuesday evening of Holy Week.  The local reception of the oils takes place at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The oils are carried in the procession by parishioners and are used throughout the year when celebrating the Sacraments.

The time of the celebration of the Lord’s Passion and why one liturgical celebration is encouraged on Good Friday. The Lord's Passion should take place at a time that reflects our historical understanding of when Christ died.  Mid-afternoon is the most appropriate time, but some churches choose an early evening time.  There is usually only one service on Good Friday. 

The Office of Readings and Morning Prayer can be celebrated with the participation of the people, but should never be the primary liturgical celebration.

The Veneration of the Cross, sometimes called the Showing of the Cross, is the centerpiece of the Good Friday solemn liturgy.  A deacon and other parishioners go to the Gathering Area and obtain the cross.  Here at Transfiguration we have parishioners who have been carrying their own crosses this year assist with the carrying of the cross.  The cross is brought to the center of the sanctuary in procession; as the cross is carried in, the deacon sings, “This is the wood of the cross”.  The cross is then venerated by the faithful.  The personal adoration of the cross is an important and central feature in this celebration.

The Easter Vigil should take place after sunset, but before sunrise.  The Vigil, by its very nature, ought to take place at night.  It is not begun before nightfall and should end before daybreak on Easter Sunday.  The Easter Vigil begins and ends in darkness.  It is a nocturnal vigil, retaining its ancient character of vigilance, and expectation, as the Christian people await the resurrection of the Lord during the night. Fire is blessed and the paschal candle is lite to illumine the night so that all may hear the Easter proclamation and listen to the word of God proclaimed in the Scriptures.

The Scripture readings at the Easter Vigil.  One of the unique aspects of the Easter Vigil is the recounting of the outstanding deeds of the history of salvation. These deeds are related in seven readings from the Old Testament chosen from the law and the prophets and two readings from the New Testament, namely from the Acts of the Apostles and from the Gospel. Thus, the Lord “beginning with Moses and all the prophets” (Luke 24.27, 44-45) meets us once again on our journey and, opening up our minds and hearts, prepares us to share in the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the cup.

Much more could be said about this most powerful week of our faith tradition, experiencing it first hand is the best way to come to love the Easter Triduum.  I do look forward to your participation in all the liturgical celebrations of the coming week. 

I truly hope that during Lent you are Making Visible God’s Works!

I am looking forward to celebrating all of Holy Week with you as we prepare together for the joy of Easter.

Let us continue to pray and sacrifice for peace in our world!     

In peace and courage, 



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