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.
These three days recall the historical events of Jesus’ Last Supper, His suffering, death and resurrection, but our liturgical celebrations of these events is tied most to the mystery of faith brought about by the historical events of Jesus’ Life. In The Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist 2017, (Paulist Press Ordo) it says in reference to the liturgical celebration of the Triduum:
“Precisely because these faith-anchoring events are historical, however, they cannot be repeated or “reenacted.” That is why the church’s long tradition insists that what happened once in history passes over into the mystery of the assembly’s liturgical/sacramental celebrations. What the paschal Triduum actually celebrates is mystery not history; anamnesis, not mimesis.
As we enter into the Paschal Mystery with the Celebration of the Triduum may we “celebrate God’s taking possession of our hearts” and recreating us as His people.
This year Holy Thursday and Good Friday Services will be celebrated at St. Patrick Church in Aurora; the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7:00 p.m. and the Good Friday Service at 3:00 p.m. The Easter Vigil will be celebrated at Our Lady of the Lake in King Ferry at 8:00 p.m. The Easter Sunday Masses will be at St. Patrick Church, Moravia, at 8:30 a.m., at St. Patrick Church, Aurora, at 9:00 a.m. and at St. Michael Church, Union Springs, at 10:30 a.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 (364-7197) and we will work to arrange a ride for you. May the Lord continue to create our hearts anew during these last days of Lent.
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.
God bless you and your families, Father Bill