Beginning with the Easter Triduum as its source of light, the new age of the Resurrection fills the whole liturgical year with its brilliance. Gradually, on either side of this source, the year is transfigured by the liturgy. (CCC)
The Easter triduum, marking the days of Jesus’ passion and resurrection, is the most important time of the church year. It begins with the evening Mass of Holy Thursday, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes on Easter Sunday evening.
Prepared by the days of Lent, Christians celebrate on these holiest of days the saving work God has accomplished in Christ.
From the events remembered these days, so sorrowful and so joyful, the church learns the deepest lessons. In rites and words the mysteries of Jesus’ final hours are with us again, his passion, his cruel suffering, his rising from the dead. And we discover the answer to age old questions: Does God love us? Is God merciful? Does God care for us?
We have only to look and learn from Jesus Christ.
These are days for fixing our eyes on the holy mystery of his cross and filling our ears with the words of his gospel. Nowhere else does God’s love appear so vividly. In the love Christ showed for a sinful world we find the beginning of our church, the source of our sacraments, the key to understanding the human story, and our hope for eternal life.
The Easter Triduum begins with Mass on Holy Thursday evening, when Jesus sacramentally anticipated the gift he would make of himself on the cross.His command to serve others is dramatically recalled this night in the ceremony of the washing of the feet, which he performed in the supper room for his disciples. Like the Paschal lamb, killed and eaten by the people, according to the Old Testament account read from Exodus this evening, he is a sign of God’s salvation.