On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples said to Jesus, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover? He said, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him the Teacher says, "In your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples. Make the preparations for us there" The disciples did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.
(Matthew 26: 17-19 and Mark 14:12-16)
Around the world, there are people breathing a sigh of relief and relaxation as the Triduum
celebrations come to a close. Like the disciples before the last
supper Jesus shared with his disciples, these folks have been preparing
for you to celebrate the Passover Triduum of the Christian faith.
are so many who help to prepare the liturgies we celebrate. Some of
them are obvious to everyone because they are in the sanctuary, in the
choir, welcoming you at the door, proclaiming the word, serving at the
altar; sharing the Sacrament with you. Others work behind the scenes ahead of
time, preparing the liturgies of these holy seasons. They work in and outside the sacristy, in and outside
the sanctuary. They are cleaning the worship space; scheduling liturgical
ministers; preparing worship aids; arranging flowers and the environment
for worship; counting palm branches and tapers; ironing, polishing,
vacuuming, sweeping and dusting; hanging banners; cleaning out your pews as
you leave for the people coming in for the next liturgy; and in general,
worrying about things you'd never dream need to be worried about --
but that you'd notice right away if someone hadn't worried about them!
teams meet weekly or more often to prepare the elect and
candidates for the Easter sacraments; Spiritual Life Commissions prepare
Lenten programs to enhance spiritual preparation for Easter; Christian
Service Commissions plan opportunities for Lenten sacrificial giving in
preparation for Easter; Youth Ministers and Faith Formation teams work
Lenten and Easter themes into their programs in preparation for the
Easter liturgies; Liturgical Commissions meet months ahead of time to
prepare for the Triduum; music directors, musicians, choirs and cantors spend hours upon hours rehearsing; good lectors spend hours preparing to proclaim the word; presiders
devote themselves to becoming familiar with the ritual of these days so
that they might lead the assembly and other ministers in graceful
rites; preachers spend hours preparing homilies; and pastoral
associates and parish administrators assist in a host of ways, not the
least of which include answering phone calls, replying to emails, making
lists, going to the printer, running copies, answering questions and
making sure that the little things that can easily fall through the
cracks - don't!
And a great and hearty thank-you to
visiting priests who came to rescue the pastor from the burden of the
whole Sunday schedule on the morning following the Vigil and all of Holy
It's often the pastor who
gets the kind words and compliments but in hundreds of ways the thanks
should go to scores of others who work so hard to prepare and provide
the time, the place, the word, the song and the stuff of sacraments and
rites for these holy days.
I know these folks in my own
community and I'm ever grateful for their faithful devotion to the
prayer and worship we offer as a parish. Without them: there would be
no Triduum at all!
know these folks in your parish (and if you don't, find out who they
are!). Seek them out, speak to them after Mass, call them, email them and
let them know that you appreciate all they've done because through
their work, the Lord saves his people!
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