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Holy Week - The Triduum

Today as we celebrate Palm Sunday we enter the most solemn week of the Church Year – the final, intense days of Lent and the great days of the Triduum.

Posted on March 22, 2018


This week, called holy by our ancestors, calls us to focus our attention and energy on the observance of the Paschal Mystery.  The first thing to recognize about the Triduum is that it means “The Three Days”. The Triduum is a unified observance that extends over three days, and forms its own unique and central part of the liturgical year.  Lent ends on Holy Thursday afternoon.  The Triduum begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and concludes on Easter Sunday evening.

 The Church is called to enter into a period of prayer, fasting and vigilance, which reaches its climax at the Easter Vigil.  The principal liturgies even suggest the unity of the Triduum by the way they end and begin.  On Thursday, there is no dismissal or conclusion; on Friday we gather and leave with no introductory or concluding rites; and at the Vigil we gather around a fire and begin without the usual introductory rites.  We begin on Thursday and don’t conclude until after the Vigil, with Easter Sunday as an extension of the celebration of the Vigil.

These days are the central movement around which all else revolves.  The Triduum gives meaning to Lent, which precedes it and to the Fifty Days of Easter that follow.  As the Lent-Easter cycle is the core of the year, so the Triduum is the core of Lent-Easter.  These days are central because they draw us into the heart of our identity as church.  The paschal mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection is the core of our faith and our participation in the mystery through the celebration of baptism defines what it means to be Christian and what it means for the community to be church.

This year the Holy Thursday – Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake, King Ferry.  At the conclusion of the Mass on Holy Thursday there will be Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until 10:00 p.m.  The Good Friday Service will be celebrated at 3:00 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake, King Ferry. The Easter Vigil we be celebrated at St. Patrick Church, Moravia at 7:30 p.m.

We realize that some people may have difficulty driving to another church, especially the elderly who don’t feel safe driving at night beyond their familiar comfort zone.  We don’t want anyone to miss the Triduum services because of the distance.  If you need a ride to the services please call the church office at 315-364-7197 and we will work to arrange a ride for you.

Chrism Mass - Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral in Rochester, the Chrism Mass will be celebrated; Bishop Salvatore Matano will be presiding.  At the Chrism Mass the bishop will bless the three oils which will be used in the coming year throughout the diocese in the parish churches; the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of Catechumens and the Holy Chrism.  At this Mass the priests are invited to renew the commitments they made at their ordination and the bishop and the people pray for them. All are invited to attend this Mass.  If you go leave early to assure yourself a seat.

May the Lord continue to create our hearts anew during these last days of Lent. God bless you,   Fr. Bill

Mornings with Merton: The Living Bread (Merton’s Meditation on the Eucharist)

Thomas Merton wrote that “the whole problem of our time is the problem of love. How are we going to recover the ability to love ourselves and to love one another? We cannot be at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we cannot be at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.” Merton’s answer to the problem is that “moved by the grace of Christ we begin to discover and to know Christ Himself as a friend knows a friend—by the inner sympathy and understanding which friendship alone can impart. This loving knowledge of God is one of the most important fruits of eucharistic communion with God in Christ.”

During this Eastertide I might suggest that we take a look at the Eucharist in our lives through the lens Merton provided in his book The Living Bread. We can read it at our leisure and come together periodically between Easter and Corpus Christi to discuss after 8:45 AM Mass on Saturday at St Mary’s or other agreed time and location. I would devote my weekly Deacon’s Corner to provide commentary on the book. Please let me know if you are interested in this opportunity before March 28th. You can email me at or call/text at 315 406 1538. The book is available through Amazon for $15. I would be willing to place a group order if that would be easier for anyone interested. Deacon Dennis Donahue


Words from our Pastor

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