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In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding  events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases. 

Access to the most recent news is available under "News Headlines" on the home page.  Copies of old stories are available by accessing the Archives at the end of the News and Press Release section.

The Celebration of the Holy Triduum

03/31/2010

The Holy Triduum, or Paschal Triduum, is the period of three days from sundown on Holy Thursday until evening prayer on Easter Sunday. The liturgies of the Triduum are considered one three-day service, as they all flow together to proclaim the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord. They are considered the most holy and solemn days of the Roman Catholic Church year. The Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. The Lord gathered with His disciples in the Upper Room where He gave them His Body and Blood and told them to “do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19) This Mass has also been called “Maundy Thursday,” signifying the mandatum: “As I have done, so you must do” (John 13:15). During this part of the liturgy, the priest will wash the feet of parishioners of the faith community. There will also be a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose, where Eucharistic Adoration will take place until late evening. This time in prayer symbolizes the time that Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane. The second part of the Triduum service is The Good Friday liturgy that recalls the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus. The service begins with the priest lying prostrate in front of the altar to demonstrate is complete obedience and dependence to the Lord. The service ends in silence. “Mass” in not celebrated today, but Holy Communion that will be distributed to Catholics during this service was consecrated at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Also during this liturgy, the church’s crucifix is carried into church which is then venerated by all the people. The Easter Vigil is held after nightfall on Holy Saturday. The Vigil begins gathering around the new fire and the lighting of the Paschal candle, representing Jesus’ resurrection. The Paschal candle is carried into a completely darkened church, where the light of Christ slowly filters through the assembly as they all light individual candles to represent how they must now carry the Light of Christ in the name of the Resurrected Lord Jesus. Seven Old Testament readings are proclaimed, detailing the history of our salvation. Those seeking to become Catholic through the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist are initiated. All Catholics also renew their own baptismal promises as they are sprinkled with the newly blessed baptismal waters of the Easter Vigil. The Liturgy is divided into the Service of Light, the Liturgy of the Word, the Sacraments of Initiations, and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. The celebration of the resurrection of our Lord continues with the Easter Sunday Masses. The Easter celebrations will continue for the next fifty days, until the feast of Pentecost. Call your local Catholic parish for Holy Week Mass times in your area. You may also click on the "Parishes and Schools" link on the left of this page and then click on a city near you. Be sure to call the parish to verify Mass times. May you and your family have a blessed and peace-filled Triduum and Easter.

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