Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pascal Tridumm

The Tridumm - the three holiest days of the Christian liturgical year - begins today.  There is no morning Mass today - in preparation for the beginning of the Tridumm - marking the official end of Lent and the beginning of the Tridumm with The Holy Mass of the Last Supper. As Lent and that period of reflection now ends - we focus our attention on the ritual of The Mass of The Last Supper. Tonight at that Mass - we celebrate the institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood - for it was at the Last Supper - that Jesus said " take and eat - this is my body - take and drink - this is my blood" the first time that He performed the mystery of transubstantiation - changing bread and wine - into His body and blood. It is also at that time when He gave the authority and power of His disciples to do the same. As He did - so were they to also do - to perpetuate this mystery until the end of days.
As the final three days of the discipline of Lent -  the Easter Triduum has traditionally been observed with even stricter fasting and abstinence - as well as prayer and almsgiving. Since 1956, however, the Paschal Triduum has been regarded as its own liturgical season, and thus liturgically Lent ends before the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday.  The Tridumm consists of Holy Thursday - Good Friday - Holy Saturday and ends with the beginning of the celebration of the Easter Vigil - celebrated at sundown - the ending of the day and the beginning of the night of the next day. In these three very holy days we celebrate Eucharist - the Priesthood - the Crucifixion - and wait at Vigil - for the Easter Resurrection. Three very special days - three very holy days - three days of preparation - leading to Christ's victory over sin and death. In all this we can only be active participants - not bystanders.

Deacon Dale