For the past six weeks, Mother Church has been encouraging us to open up to God’s invitation to conversion through acts of prayer, charity and self-sacrifice. Now we have arrived at the Easter Triduum – the shortest and most important of the Church’s Seasons.
‘Triduum’ comes from the Latin meaning ‘three days’. Therefore, the Easter Triduum celebrates how Christ redeemed us during the first Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Yet we are not merely remembering past events, beautiful as they are, but we are called to enter into the Paschal Mystery in our own lives today. I cannot encourage you enough to come to the Triduum Ceremonies as well as reflecting on Christ’s Passion and Resurrection at home. Even if you cannot attend Church you can still read about the events in your Bible and allow them to speak to your heart.
The Triduum Ceremonies are full of powerful and dramatic symbolism. Through them the Holy Spirit desires to draw us deeper into the Paschal Mystery. Christ’s dying lead to Life and this pattern is true for us too. It is only our dying to sin and selfishness that allows us to live the new life of Christ.
On Holy Thursday we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, followed by his Agony in the Garden, betrayal and condemnation by the Sanhedrin. During the Washing of the Feet do I reflect on my own call to service? Does the Eucharistic Procession to the Altar of Repose invite me to a deeper love of the Blessed Sacrament? Does the failure of the apostles in the Garden make me ponder on my own fidelity to God?
On Good Friday, when the priest prostrates before the altar and I kneel, am I truly sorry for my sins? Like Pilate am I afraid to search for Truth? Whose sufferings do I wash my hands of? When I venerate the cross with a kiss will I endeavour to daily demonstrate a genuine love for God? Will Christ’s death deepen my trust in His unconditional love for me?
At the Easter Vigil, does the warmth and light of the Easter Fire encourage me to enter more deeply into God’s presence? As the ‘Light of the Risen Christ’ is symbolically shared does it encourage me, like Mary Magdalen, to publicly witness to Christ? As the Easter Water is blessed and I renew my Baptismal Promises am I determined to reject sin and live the New Life of Christ? When I receive Holy Communion will I rejoice at the presence of the Risen Lord and invite Him to transform me?
I wish you all a most fruitful and Spirit-filled Easter Triduum.