March 11, 2008 -
Over the next three weeks Sudbury Catholic Schools students along with their parents/guardians families, teachers and Board staff will be preparing to celebrate the Triduum. |
The greatest mysteries of the redemption are celebrated yearly by the Church beginning with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday and ending with Vespers of Easter Sunday. This time is called "the triduum of the crucified, buried and risen;” it is also called the "Easter Triduum" because during it is celebrated the paschal mystery, that is, the passing of the Lord from this world to his Father. The Church, by the celebration of this mystery through liturgical signs and sacramentals, is united to Christ, her spouse, in intimate communion.
The Easter fast is sacred on the first two days of the Triduum, in which, according to ancient tradition, the Church fasts "because the Spouse has been taken away." Good Friday is a day of fasting and abstinence; it is also recommended that Holy Saturday be so observed, so that the Church, with uplifted and welcoming heart, be ready to celebrate the joys of the Sunday of the Resurrection.
The Easter Triduum is prepared for by Lent and it is prolonged for fifty days of the Easter Season. The Lenten Season has two purposes: a) to prepare catechumens to celebrate the paschal mystery through the sacraments of initiation; b) to prepare the faithful to celebrate the paschal mystery by penance for the renewal of their baptismal promises.
After centuries of neglect, Pope Pius XII restored the Triduum to its rightful place as the culmination of the liturgical year. The only way to really understand the Triduum is to savour it by active participation. In song, through ritual and sensory experience, the single, three day long liturgy plunges us into the Paschal Mystery. Our participation in the liturgical act is, then, the opportunity for us to enter into the mystery of Christ’s dying and rising. The life of the Christian is to be lived in union with Christ who “dying destroyed our death, rising restored our life.” It is the mystery of dying and rising with Christ that is at the heart of the Easter mystery.