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The Triduum

By Judie Brown

To belong to Christ, the Author of Life, is to be blessed beyond measure. So as we walk with Him from Golgotha to His Resurrection, we celebrate life in Him with excerpts from this reflection on the Sacred Triduum from Saint John Paul II:

Good Friday is marked by the Passion account and by contemplation of the Cross, in which the Father’s mercy is fully revealed. The liturgy has us pray in this way: “When we were lost and could not find the way to you, you loved us more than ever: Jesus, your Son, innocent and without sin, gave himself into our hands and was nailed to a cross” (Roman Missal, 1983 ed., Eucharistic Prayer for Masses of Reconciliation, I). So great is the emotion evoked by this mystery, that the Apostle Peter, writing to the faithful of Asia Minor, exclaimed: “You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Pt 1:18-19).

Therefore, after proclaiming the Passion of the Lord, the Church puts the adoration of the Cross at the center of the Good Friday liturgy, not as a symbol of death but as a source of authentic life. On this day, charged with spiritual emotion, the Cross of Christ is lifted up upon the world as a banner of hope for all who in faith welcome its mystery into their lives.

Meditating on these supernatural realities, we will enter the silence of Holy Saturday, in expectation of Christ’s glorious triumph in the Resurrection. At the tomb we will be able to reflect on the tragedy of a humanity that, deprived of its Lord, is inevitably dominated by loneliness and discouragement. Turned in on himself, man feels deprived of every breath of hope in the face of suffering, the failures of life and, especially, death. What should we do? We must wait for the resurrection. At our side, according to an ancient, widespread popular tradition, will be Our Lady, the Sorrowful Virgin and Mother of Christ


On Holy Saturday night, however, during the solemn Easter Vigil, “the mother of all vigils”, the silence will be broken by joyful song: the Exsultet. Once again the victory of Light over darkness, of Life over death, will be proclaimed and the Church will rejoice in meeting her Lord.

Thus we will enter the atmosphere of Easter, the Resurrection, the endless day which the Lord inaugurated by rising from the dead.

We wish you a joyful Easter. And as we think about the blessings our Lord has given us, let us remember that in our devotion to affirm the dignity of the human person we “fear nothing, love unconditionally, and live a life in strength, unapologetically espousing a culture of life.”