The Holiest Days of the Church Year

As we enter into Holy Week, I thought I would share the piece Fr. Dan Griffith, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, wrote for this week’s bulletin.  It does a nice job of explaining the significance of Triduum we will celebrate later in the week.  As does he, I encourage all who can to participate fully in the liturgies from Holy Thursday to the Easter Vigil.

Here is what Fr. Dan wrote:

“The three days from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday are regarded by the Catholic Church as the holiest days of the Church year. These days are called the Sacred Triduum, which means the “Great Three Days.” The Triduum is one feast and one continuous liturgy that takes place at the beginning of Holy Thursday and culminates with the Easter Vigil. These days are meant to be experienced together as continuous. Therefore, I invite the parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes to come and experience the profound mysteries that are central to our Catholic faith. If you have never experienced the entire Triduum, I encourage you to come and celebrate the life-giving grace poured forth through the death and resurrection of Christ. For those who have experienced the Triduum, the joy of Easter takes on a new meaning when we have journeyed from the upper room, to the foot of the cross to the empty tomb on Sunday morning.

“Beginning on Holy Thursday we are invited to commemorate the Lord’s Supper where Christ instituted the great gift of his body and blood, the Holy Eucharist. This day is also referred to as “Maundy Thursday” because this is the day when Christ gave his Church two commands. The word command is derived from the Latin, maundatum. On this Holy night, Christ told his apostles and all of us in the Church that if we are to be his disciples we must “do this in memory of me” (celebrate the Holy Eucharist) and we must “love one another as I have loved you” (follow Christ’s example of service and sacrificial love). On Good Friday Christ teaches his followers by showing them the measure of God’s love for humanity. On Good Friday, Christians everywhere journey to the foot of the cross. Paradoxically, we recall this terrible and yet great day when Jesus Christ, sacrificial love incarnate, poured his life out on a cross for our salvation. Is there any greater sign of God’s love for us, His children, than the death of His son on the wood of the cross?

“As Christians, we not only proclaim the death of the Lord, but we also proclaim Christ’s resurrection. Our late and beloved St. John Paul II used to remind Christians that we are a people of resurrection and alleluia is our song. As Christians, we know that death is not the end of our story of salvation. The darkness of Good Friday gives way to the light and glory of Easter. At the Easter Vigil and on Easter Sunday all Christians triumph in the saving reality that Christ is alive. This God-Man who took our flesh and was crucified has been raised from the dead. And as Christians who believe in Christ and follow his path from suffering to new life we are assured that we too will share Christ’s resurrection.

” From the upper room, to Calvary, to the empty tomb, we as Christians are invited to enter into the paschal mystery of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Come and experience the glory and the grace of the “Great Three Days.” Please check your bulletin for the Triduum schedule. All are welcome!”