The Paschal Triduum is a three-day period in the liturgical calendar of the Catholic Church that begins on the evening of Holy Thursday and ends on the evening of Easter Sunday. It is considered the most solemn and important time of the church year, as it commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The first day of the Triduum is Holy Thursday, which commemorates the Last Supper Jesus shared with his disciples. This is when he instituted the sacrament of the Eucharist and washed the feet of his disciples as a symbol of service. Holy Thursday also marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum liturgy, with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
The second day of the Triduum is Good Friday, which commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. It is a day of fasting and penance, and the liturgy is focused on the Passion of Christ. The day begins with the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, which includes the reading of the Passion narrative, the veneration of the cross, and the distribution of Holy Communion. Good Friday is also a day of silence and reflection, as Christians remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross to save humanity from sin.
The third day of the Triduum is Holy Saturday, which is a day of waiting and preparation for the celebration of Easter. It is the day when Christ’s body lay in the tomb before his resurrection. The liturgy of Holy Saturday includes the Easter Vigil, which is the most solemn liturgy of the year. It begins with the Service of Light, in which the Paschal candle is lit and carried into the church. This is followed by the Liturgy of the Word, which includes readings from the Old and New Testaments that recount the history of salvation. The liturgy culminates with the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in which the faithful receive Holy Communion.
The Triduum concludes with the celebration of Easter Sunday, which commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the most joyful day of the liturgical year, as it marks the triumph of life over death. The Easter Sunday liturgy includes the proclamation of the Resurrection, the renewal of baptismal promises, and the celebration of the Eucharist. It is a day of feasting and celebration, as Christians rejoice in the victory of Christ over sin and death.