Blessed Palm/Passion Sunday! We now plunge into Holy Week, liturgically the most significant and meaningful time of the year. Holy Week culminates in the celebration of the Triduum, a memorial and celebration of God’s action in Jesus saving us from sin and death, and conversely saving us for the fullness of life with God.
The drama of the Triduum plays out in three acts. Holy Thursday focuses on service with the washing of feet, and on Jesus’s self-gift in the Eucharist. It is also a special time for focusing on the ministerial priesthood. Some people find this the most moving and beautiful of the three services, especially the washing of feet. The way we do this here at St. Austin welcomes all present to participate, and many are touched by that.
Good Friday service involves the proclamation of the Passion, the Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion. It is not a Eucharist. It is the only day we do NOT celebrate Mass. Because the themes of this service are very powerful and dramatic, some find this service to be the most affecting and moving. Personally, from a logistical point of view, I find it to be a sort of liturgical train wreck, with the three parts sort of jammed together with little inherent connection.
And then on Holy Saturday night we celebrate the Easter Vigil, with the lighting of candles, blessing of water, a big Gloria and Alleluia, several Bible readings, Baptism, Confirmation and First Eucharist, and generally pulling out all the stops. This is a long service, but very dramatic and it moves fairly quickly. This is clearly my favorite.
No matter which part of the Triduum is your favorite, I invite and encourage you to join us in this special three-day celebration of the mystery of our salvation. Come join us!