Skip to main content


The Happy Priest: Triduum, the Three Days Leading to Easter

The Three days are called in Latin the Triduum

Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday form a three part journey of faith that we should all participate in so that we can really experience the joy and the transforming power of Easter Sunday. Only one Mass is celebrated on Holy Thursday. It is during this Mass that we remember three fundamental mysteries of our Christian Faith. 


CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) - For all Christians, Holy Week is the most important week of the year.  Think about how much you enjoy Christmas, your birthday or an anniversary.  Holy Week is much more important than these beautiful days.  As a Christian people, we celebrate and remember the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior. 

At the end of Holy Week we celebrate the Sacred Triduum.  Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday form a three part journey of faith that we should all participate in so that we can really experience the joy and the transforming power of Easter Sunday.

Holy Thursday

Only one Mass is celebrated on Holy Thursday.  This special Mass, the Mass of the Lord's Super takes place in the evening.  It is during this Mass that we remember three fundamental mysteries of our Christian Faith. 

First, we remember the gift of the Catholic priesthood. Secondly, we remember the gift of the Eucharist.  Thirdly, with the Washing of the Feet ceremony, we remember the mandate of the new commandment of love.  As a Christian people we are to live our lives with selfless love for all. 

At the conclusion of this beautiful Mass, we process solemnly to the Altar of Repose.  It is there where the Eucharist remains for our adoration until midnight.  We accompany Jesus as he begins his Passion.  We pray in reparation for our own personal sins and the sins of the world. 

Good Friday

Mass is not offered on this day.  Instead, we gather together in our parishes for the Good Friday Solemn Liturgy.  This liturgy is comprised of three parts.  First, we listen to the Word of God as the Passion is proclaimed.  Secondly, we venerate the Cross, the instrument that gained for us our salvation.  Thirdly, we receive the Eucharist that was consecrated the night before during the Holy Thursday Mass. 

Other moments of prayer can take place during the day such as a directed meditation on the Seven Last Words and the Stations of the Cross. 

Holy Saturday

On this quiet day we accompany the Blessed Virgin Mary as she sorrowfully stood at the tomb of our Lord waiting for the Resurrection.  In the evening, we participate in the Easter Vigil, the highlight of the Catholic liturgical year.

In order to better understand the Easter Vigil, we should focus on four fundamental elements of the Easter Vigil: fire, word, water and bread. 

The Easter fire is blessed by the priest celebrant.  The Easter candle, representing Christ, is brought into the dark church as the small Easter candles of each parishioner receives the light of Christ.  The light of Christ dispels the darkness of sin.  We then listen to the chanting of the Easter Proclamation, the Exultet. 

"Exultet, let them exult, the hosts of heaven, exult, let Angel ministers of God exult, let the trumpet of salvation sound aloud our mighty King's triumph!  Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory flood her, ablaze with light from her eternal King, let all corners of the earth be glad, knowing an end to gloom and darkness."

We then attentively listen to the history of salvation through the seven readings of the Old Testament.  These readings lead us to the fulfillment of the Old Testament with the New Testament readings from the Epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans and the Gospel narrative of the Resurrection.

Following the homily, the liturgy of Baptism takes place.  The Catechumens are baptized and we renew our baptismal promises.  We are sprinkled with the waters of baptism as the joy of Easter begins. 

After the liturgy of the Baptism, we then enter into the liturgy of the Eucharist as we normally do during each Mass.  The Bread of life fills our souls with the peace that only the Risen Jesus can give us. 

-----

Father James Farfaglia is the Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Corpus Christi, TX.  Check out Father's updated website to learn more about his books, homilies and audio podcasts.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.

Keywords: Holy Week, Sacred Triduum, Father James Farfaglia, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter, Easter Sunday



NEWSLETTERS »

E-mail:       Zip Code: (ex. 90001)
Today's Headlines

Sign up for a roundup of the day's top stories. 5 days / week. See Sample

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 3 of 3 Comments

  1. kiria chingawo sadya
    2 years ago

    thank you so much for this forum it helps me understand my catholicism better and has helped strengthen my faith God bless the team that work on this website

  2. Fr. James Farfaglia
    2 years ago

    Kimani: I am glad that you are looking at this article from the perspective of spiritual growth. It is a good idea to see the Triduum as a retreat. By participating in the entire Triduum, you will notice profound spiritual growth. Added to to the Triduum, would be the reception of the Sacrament of Confession if needed. The entire Triduum will bring you to experience the joys of the Risen Lord.

  3. Kimani M
    2 years ago

    Thank you for making it possible for us to grow in our spiritual faith.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

More Easter / Lent

'So it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead' - Luke 24:46

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption. continue reading


Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, commemorates Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, an event mentioned in all four canonical Gospels. (Mark 11:1.11, Matthew 21:1.11, Luke 19:28.44, and John 12:12.19) ... continue reading


Holy Week

On Palm Sunday, we celebrate the first joy of the season, as we celebrate Our Lord's triumphant entrance into Jerusalem where he was welcomed by crowds worshiping him and laying down palm leaves before him. It also marks the beginning of Holy Week... continue reading


Holy Thursday

HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances. It celebrates his last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover ... continue reading


Good Friday

On Good Friday, each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Holy Week we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord ... continue reading


Easter Sunday

Easter is the principal feast of the ecclesiastical year. Leo I (Sermo xlvii in Exodum) calls it the greatest feast (festum festorum), and says that Christmas is celebrated only in preparation for Easter. It is the centre of the greater part of the ecclesiastical year ... continue reading


Fasting and Abstinence

For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere. Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed (Lk. 5:35). continue reading


FAQs About Lent

Everything answered from when does lent end, ashes, giving something up, stations of the cross and blessed palms. The key to understanding the meaning of Lent is simple: Baptism... continue reading


Stations of the Cross

Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. First Station: Jesus is condemned to death... pray the stations now


What did you give up for Lent?

What did you give up for Lent?

From the humorous to the bizarre, people have had interesting Lenten experiences. Tell us about what you are going to give up for this Lenten Year.
What others gave up »

Lent / Easter News

  • 5th Sorrowful Mystery: The Crucifixion
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    This Sorrowful pilgrimage now brings me here to this lonely hill. All the agony, the beatings and the bleeding have led me somewhere I do not want to go; somewhere I resist going with all my ...Continue Reading

  • 4th Sorrowful Mystery: The Carrying of the Cross
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    I wonder if perhaps it was tempting for Jesus to just lie down on the dirt road and die right there. Completely sapped of strength and in agonizing pain, I wonder if He was tempted by the ...Continue Reading

  • 3rd Sorrowful Mystery: The Crowning with Thorns
    Jennifer Hartline - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    Humiliation, in one form or another, is part of the package.  It is only avoidable if we decide to deny Christ. WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - 3rd Sorrowful Mystery:  The Crowning ...Continue Reading

  • Good Friday Reflection on the Nature of Sin
    Michael Terheyden - Catholic Online, 4/18/2014

    The Passion of Christ represents the most atrocious miscarriage of justice in all of human history. So when we come face to face with the crucified Christ on Good Friday, it is only natural for us to ...Continue Reading

Good Friday

  • Good Friday

    On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption.

    The Cross

    In the symbol of the Cross we can see the magnitude of the human tragedy, the ravages of original sin, and the infinite love of God. Learn More

Ash Wednesday

  • Ash Wednesday

    Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday, through which we attain redemption.

    The Ashes

    The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. The ashes are christened with Holy Water and are scented by exposure to incense. Learn More

Stations of the Cross

  • Stations of the Cross

    Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.

    Opening Prayer

    ACT OF CONTRITION. O my God, my Redeemer, behold me here at Thy feet. From the bottom of my heart... Pray the Stations

Fasting & Abstinence

  • 'Christ Himself said that His disciples would fast once He had departed' Lk. 5:35

    Abstinence. The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted.

    Fasting. The law of fasting requires a Catholic from the 18th Birthday (Canon 97) to the 59th Birthday (i.e. the beginning of the 60th year, a year which will be completed on the 60th birthday) to reduce the amount of food eaten from normal. The Church defines this as one meal a day, and two smaller meals which if added together would not exceed the main meal.
    Learn More »

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Philippians 1:1-11
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all God's holy ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 111:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Alleluia! I give thanks to Yahweh with all my heart, in the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 14:1-6
Now it happened that on a Sabbath day he had gone to share a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 31 Saint of the Day

St. Wolfgang
October 31: Wolfgang (d. 994) + Bishop and reformer. Born in Swabia, ... Read More