April 21, 2011

When is the Triduum?

Just a little Holy Week post to indulge my inner rubrician against certain mistakes one sometimes encounters in these days.

The three days of the Paschal Triduum are not Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, provided we imagine these in the biblical sense of a day beginning with the evening.

Therefore, the Triduum begins with either the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper or Evening Prayer on Thursday evening, and ends three days later after Evening Prayer II of Easter Sunday.

The Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday and the celebration of the Lord's Passion on Friday take the place of Evening Prayer on these days.

The Easter Vigil takes the place of Night Prayer for Saturday and the Office of Readings for Sunday, giving some idea of when the Church imagines the Vigil to be celebrated, contrary to the usual pastoral practice. This means, against what one hears sometimes, that there is such a thing as Evening Prayer I of Easter Sunday, even for those who will participate in the Easter Vigil.

Happy Triduum, everyone, especially you Elect. I've been praying for you this whole Lent. It's a grand adventure you begin in these days.

2 comments:

Lisa Graas said...

In Mother Catherine Marie's reflection for Holy Thursday, she writes: "Although the celebration of Holy Thursday is very ancient, it did not originally form part of the Triduum."

When I read that, I took it to mean that it does now, though it didn't then. Your clarification helps. Thank you.

4narnia said...

Happy Triduum to you, too, Fr. C! (Happy Easter, too!)thanks for sharing about when the Triduum is...i somehow always knew that it began with the Mass of the Lord's Last Supper, although it was never officially explained to me.
hope to see you sometime soon. PAX!
~tara t~