Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Triduum

"Christ redeemed humankind and gave perfect glory to God principally through his paschal mystery: by dying he destroyed our death and by rising he restored our life. The Easter triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ is thus the culmination of the entire liturgical year. What Sunday is to the week, the solemnity of Easter is to the liturgical year.

The Easter triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, reaches its hight point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday.

On Good Friday and, if possible, also on Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil, the Easter fast is observed everywhere.

The celebration of the Lord's passion takes place on Friday during the afternoon hours.

The Easter Vigil, in the night when Christ rose from the dead, is considered the mother of all vigils. During it the church keeps watch, awaiting the resurrection of Christ and celebrating it in the sacraments. The entire celebration of this vigil should take place at night, beginning after nightfall and ending with dawn."


"Even though we are baptized, what we constantly lose and betray is precisely that which we received at baptism. Therefore Easter is our return every year to our own baptism, whereas Lent is our preparation for that return--the slow and sustained effort to perform, at the end, our own "passage" or "pascha" into the new life in Christ....Each year Lent and Easter are, once again, the rediscovery and the recovery by us of what we were made through our own baptismal death and resurrection."


This is the Pasch:
holy the feast we celebrate today.
New and holy is the Pasch,
and Christ, who redeemed us,
is the paschal victim.
The Pasch breathes balm,
is great,
was made for the faithful;
the Pasch opens to us
the gates of paradise.
O Pasch, sanctify all believers.


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