Easter is approaching, and there are numerous questions about the
various words surrounding this rite. The word “Triduum” is a fascinating
word with a fascinating history. It is Latin meaning a “period of three days,”
in reference to the Holiest time in the Christian Calendar. So, herein following
are two major sources of information about the Easter Triduum. Enjoy!


   /ˈtrɪdʒuəm, ˈtrɪdyu-/ Show Spelled[trij-oo-uhm,
trid-yoo-] Show IPA

–noun Roman Catholic Church .

a series of special religious observances over a three-day period,
in preparation for a great feast.

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1880–85; < Latin trīduum period of three days, equivalent to
trī- tri- + -duum < *diwom, akin to diēs day (long i perhaps after
postrīdiē on the following day)

triduum (ˈtrɪdjʊəm, ˈtraɪ-)
RC Church a period of three days for prayer before a feast
[C19: Latin, perhaps from
triduum spatium a space of three days]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009

“Triduum.” Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition.
HarperCollins Publishers. 30 Mar. 2011.
<Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Triduum>.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Holy Triduum

Easter Triduum, Holy Triduum, or Paschal Triduum is the period of three days from
Holy Thursday (seen as beginning with the service of the preceding evening) to Easter Day.
It begins with the Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper and ends with evening prayer on
Sunday. It remembers the events as portrayed in the Canonical gospels[1]

Since the 1955 reform by Pope Pius XII, the Easter Triduum, including as it does Easter
Sunday, has been more clearly distinguished as a separate liturgical period. Previously, all
these celebrations were advanced by more than twelve hours. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper
and the Easter Vigil were celebrated in the morning of Thursday and Saturday respectively,
and Holy Week and Lent were seen as ending only on the approach of Easter Sunday.

After the Gloria in Excelsis Deo at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper all church bells are silenced
and the organ is not used. The period that lasted from Thursday morning to before Easter Sunday
began was once, in Anglo-Saxon times, referred to as “the still days”.[2]

In the Roman Catholic Church, weddings, which were once prohibited throughout
the entire season of Lent and during certain other periods as well,[3] are prohibited
during the Triduum. Lutherans still discourage weddings during the entirety of
Holy Week and the Triduum.

Mass of the Lord’s Supper

The Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening before Good Friday.[1][4]

  • During the Gloria in Excelsis Deo, all church bells may be rung and the organ played;
    afterwards, bells and organ are silenced until the Gloria of the Easter Vigil.[4]
  • After the homily of the Mass a ritual washing of the feet is envisaged.[4]
  • The Mass concludes with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose.[4]
  • Eucharistic adoration is encouraged after this, but if continued after midnight should
    be done without outward solemnity.[4]
  • The liturgical color for the Mass vestments and other ornaments is white.[5]

Good Friday

  • On Good Friday, Christians recall the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus.
  • In the Roman, Lutheran, and High Anglican rites, a cross or crucifix (not necessarily
    the one which stands on or near the altar on other days of the year) is ceremoniously
    unveiled.[6] (In pre-Vatican II services, other crucifixes were to be unveiled, without
    ceremony, after the Good Friday service.)
  • In Roman Catholicism, the clergy traditionally begin the service prostrate in front
    of the altar. Mass is not celebrated on Good Friday and the communion distributed
    at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion is consecrated on Holy Thursday, hence the
    name Mass of the Pre-sanctified.
  • Also in Roman Catholicism, images of saints are either kept or veiled until the Easter
    Vigil. Votive lights before these images are not lit. Crucifixes that are movable are
    hidden, while those that are not movable are veiled until the Easter Vigil.
  • The faithful typically venerate the crucifix by kissing the feet of the corpus.
  • Colors seen throughout the chapel or on vestments: Vary
    • No color, red, or black are used in different traditions.
    • Where colored hangings are removed for this day, liturgical color applies
      to vestments only.
  • The priest wears red vestments, symbolic of the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Easter Vigil

  • A commemoration of the day that Jesus lay in his tomb.
  • In the Roman Catholic Church, daytime Masses are never offered.
  • There are no colors seen or used throughout the chapel or on vestments.
  • Known as Black Saturday in the Philippines.
  • Held after nightfall of Holy Saturday, or before dawn on Easter Sunday,
    in anticipation of the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
  • The ceremony of darkness and light is held in silence at the beginning of the Mass.
    • The paschal candle, representing Jesus’ resurrection as the “return of
      light onto the world,” is lit.
    • The solemn procession to the altar with the Paschal candle is formed.
    • Once everyone has processed in, the Exsultet is intoned.
  • After the Exsultet, everyone is seated and listens to seven readings from the
    Old Testament and seven Psalms. At least three of these readings and associated
    psalms must be read, which must include the account of the first Passover from
    the Book of Exodus. Pastoral conditions are taken into account when deciding
    on the number of readings.[7][8][9] These readings account salvation history,
    beginning with Creation.
  • In pre- and post-Vatican II Roman Catholic practice, during the Gloria at the Mass,
    the organ and church bells are used in the liturgy for the first time in two days.[10]

    • If the lights of the Church have been previously left off, they are turned on
      as the Gloria begins
  • The Great Alleluia is sung before the Gospel is read.
  • The Paschal candle is used to bless the baptismal font to be used by the Elect.
  • The celebrant uses the term “Alleluia” for the first time since the beginning of Lent.
  • People desiring to full initiation in the Church who have completed their training
    are formally initiated as members of the faith the Church through the Sacraments
    of Initiation (Baptism, confirmation, and the Holy Eucharist).
  • In current Vatican II practice, the use of lighting to signify the emergence from
    sin and the resurrection of Jesus vary, from the use of candles held by parishioners
    as well as candelabras lit throughout the church.
  • Statues of Jesus, which have been veiled during Passion (usually throughout Lent),
    are unveiled.
  • Colors seen throughout the chapel or on vestments: White, often together with gold,
    with yellow and white flowers often in use in many parishes.

[edit] Easter

  • The date of Easter varies from year to year, but is always on a Sunday between
    the dates of March 22 and April 25. It occurs on the first Sunday after the first
    full moon of Spring.
  • The Easter octave allows for no other feasts to be celebrated or commemorated
    during it (possible exception is the Greater Litanies if Easter falls later in the year).
    If Easter is so early that March 25 falls in Easter week, the feast of the Annunciation
    is postponed to the following week.
  • The Ascension is the fortieth day of Easter; which is always a Thursday. Pentecost
    (or Whitsun) is the fiftieth day.
  • Easter Masses are held throughout the day and are similar in content to the Easter
    Vigil Mass. However, baptisms are not performed, and the ritual of the Paschal
    candle is not performed (the candle is placed next to the ambo, or podium,
    throughout the Easter celebration).
  • The Easter season extends from the Easter Vigil through Pentecost Sunday on the
    Catholic and Protestant calendars, normally the fiftieth day after Easter. On the
    calendar used by traditional Catholics, Eastertide lasts until the end of the Octave
    of Pentecost, at None of the following Ember Saturday.
  • The colors seen throughout the chapel or on vestments during the fifty-day Easter
    period are white or gold.

[edit] References

1. ^ a b General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar, 19

2. ^ Holy Week“. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.

3. ^ Banns of Marriage“. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.

4. ^ a b c d e Catholic Liturgy, Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

5. ^ General Instruction of the Roman Missal, 346

6. ^ Good Friday“. Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.

7. ^ Catholic Culture accessed 12 August 2010

8. ^ United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Accessed 12 August 2010

9. ^ Catholic Liturgy, Easter Sunday of the Lord’s Resurrection, The Easter Vigil.
Accessed 12 August 2010

10. ^ Catholic City Tenbrae Retrieved on April 5, 2007

Source URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Triduum