Sunday, April 12, 2009

When did the Triduum end? When did it begin?



If "Triduum" means three days, when do those three days begin -- and when do they end?

Some may think that the Triduum begins on Holy Thursday morning and ends with the last Mass on Easter morning - but that's not quite right.

The Triduum begins after sunset on Holy Thursday, with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper. The first "day" of the Triduum, then, runs from sundown Holy Thursday to sundown Good Friday. The second "day " of the Triduum runs from sundown Good Friday to sundown Holy Saturday and the celebration of the great Easter Vigil. The third "day" of Triduum runs from sundown Holy Saturday to - sundown Easter Sunday and the celebration of Easter Evening Prayer.

Truth be told, I would have been pleased to have called it quits on the Triduum right after the 11:30 Mass this morning! But my parish has a strong, longstanding tradition of singing Evening Prayer in the "strong" seasons on the Sundays of of Advent and through the Christmas season and on the Sundays of Lent, on Easter Sunday and on Pentecost.

So at 7:00 this evening we gathered by the light of the Paschal Candle, near the baptismal pool and an icon of Mary Magdalene announcing the good news of Jesus' resurrection to the apostles.

As happens every year, as soon as we sing "Christ our light!" again for the Lucernarium, I am pleased and grateful that Easter Evening Prayer is on our Triduum schedule: the incense, candlelight, the Evening Thanksgiving, the psalmody, the scripture and the prayers: it's an Easter Vigil in miniature!

This year, we had the added Easter gift of a concert after Evening Prayer presented by our EP cantor and three of her musician friends: three voices and an organist/pianist. The program of Easter music ranged from Gregorian chant to Bach to Ned Rorem. It was nothing short of exquisite and a perfect way to close the Paschal Triduum!

(Here's an earlier post on the Triduum)

-ConcordPastor

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Evening prayer followed by the concert was indeed a beautiful way to end the Triduum. Thank you to Ellen and her friends for sharing their extraordinary musical gifts with us.

Rosemary