“For Christians, what Sunday is to the week, the Triduum is to the whole liturgical year.” Those are words from Sacrosanctum Concilium, the constitution on the Sacred Liturgy written by the bishops of the second Vatican Council.
The council fathers were trying to tell us that Holy Week and especially the Easter Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday – are the most solemn, most life-giving days of the church year. Indeed, I once heard Holy Week compared to the setting in a woman’s wedding ring.
These next few days hold the greatest words of love ever spoken by God:
“Love one another as I have loved you…This is my body, this is my blood for you…I am going to prepare a place for you so that you can always be with me.”
“Father, forgiven them. They don’t know what they are doing…This day you will be with me in paradise.”
“Peace be with you. Receive the Holy Spirit; when you forgive people sins they are forgiven.”
And who has ever come away from the Great Actions – the washing of the feet, the stripping of the sanctuary, the emptying of the tabernacle, the veneration of the cross – without experiencing the Lord’s closeness to us during these days.
Sisters and brothers, Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ” is a powerful movie; but watching Gibson’s movie is nothing compared to the liturgies of Holy Week. We do not historically re-enact the events of two thousand years ago during the Triduum.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit and anamnesis (holy remembering) the mystery of Jesus’ passover from death to life becomes present again. We do not go back in time; our crucified and risen Savior comes to us. He will be here waiting to tell us how much he loves us. Please come and be with him.
A blessed Holy Week,