24/4/11 – The Easter Triduum

Today brings to a conclusion the great celebration of the Easter Triduum.  Once the sun set on Thursday, we entered into this celebration with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.  The second part of this three-day celebration took place on Friday afternoon with the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion.  Finally, we resumed our celebration on Saturday evening by participating in the high-point of the entire liturgical year – the Easter Vigil Mass.

Each of these parts of the Easter Triduum is characterised by liturgical rituals that are unique to these great three days.

Washing of the FeetAt the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Fr Paul knelt down before his parishioners and washed their feet.  In this ritual, we are reminded of Christ’s commandment to love one another, and the way Jesus challenged the disciples to live out this command.  We engage in the washing of feet each year not as some role-play or historical reenactment, but because we too, as disciples of Jesus, are called not to be served, but to serve.

Veneration of the CrossOn Good Friday, hundreds of us came forward to venerate the cross.  On this day, we celebrate what is very much our Good Friday.  Although Christ died as he hung upon the wood of the cross, as the ritual reminds us, Christ is the salvation of the world.  We continue through to Easter with the hope of that salvation.

Service of LightFinally, the Easter Vigil begins with the Service of Light.  The pillar of fire led the Israelites at that first Passover, through suffering and slavery to new life.  Our pillar of fire, the Paschal candle, leads us to our celebration of Christ’s Passover, his passing over from death to new life.  Guided by the light of Christ, we recall the history of our salvation, celebrate the resurrection, and initiate new Christians into Christ and his Church.

May God bless you all during this time, and over the fifty joyful days of the Easter season.

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