The three most important days in the Church year

In this week we call holy, the Church celebrates the most ancient and beautiful rites in its spiritual heritage. These are the most important days of the whole church year, even though they don’t get tagged as “holy days of obligation.”

Lent ends at sundown on Thursday of this week and we enter the Paschal Triduum (3 days). The Triduum is one feast, celebrated over three days. The “three days” are numbered from sundown Holy Thursday to sundown Good Friday; from sundown Good Friday to sundown Holy Saturday; and from sundown Holy Saturday to sundown Easter Sunday. The liturgical moments of that one feast are the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday night, the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Friday and the Easter Vigil (the first and greatest Mass of Easter) on Holy Saturday night. (Paschal joy overflows in the celebration of the eucharist on Easter Sunday morning.) The Triduum closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday night.

Yes, these liturgies are lengthy but they are also rich and beautiful in symbol, ritual, prayer, and song. It is a shame that many Catholics go to their graves without ever having celebrated the most important feasts of their faith!

Know that you are invited to celebrate this great Paschal feast! Set aside these hours to give thanks and praise to the One who set aside his life for us that we might have forgiveness of our sins and the gift of God's peace.
We should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
for he is our salvation, our life and resurrection; 
through him we are saved and made free! 
- Galatians 6:14 


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