The Easter Triduum, Holy Triduum, Paschal Triduum, or The Three Days is the period near the end of Holy Week that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday, and ends with Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. It recalls the passion, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is known as the “Paschal Mystery” because for Christians it is the fulfillment of the ancient Jewish Passover (or Pasch), which itself was a recollection of how God brought the Jews out of slavery in Egypt.
The Triduum includes the evening Mass on Holy Thursday, referred to as The Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Good Friday is observed as a day of fasting and abstinence whereas it commemorates the day of the crucifixion when Jesus was put to death on the cross. And then finally, Good Saturday, the day Christ laid in the tomb. It is still a day of fasting and sorrow, the final one before the Easter Vigil begins that evening. Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in traditional Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus.
Historically, it is during this service where people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into full communion with the Church. It is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day – most commonly in the evening of Holy Saturday or midnight – and is the first celebration of Easter, days traditionally being considered to begin at sunset.
So here is today’s wonky biblical/historical factoid report… I don’t do this because I am smart; just because I am curious… Take the next three days to look inward and recognize the grace in your life. It doesn’t come easy, but it is there… and it is yours. Have a blessed Triduum.