Triduum

24 03 2009

This quote has really affected my thinking about Easter as services are prepared and details taken care of for Stations of the Cross

The first day of the Triduum, from Holy Thursday sunset to Good Friday sunset, is the sixth day of creation, when God formed us from clay and breath. In dying the Lord Jesus fell asleep, like Adam, that we might be formed from his own body, like Eve. Jesus completed a new creation. On this day we wash each other’s feet in tender humility. We fast as if we were again in paradise. And we come to the holy cross as if it were Eden’s tree of life.

The second day of the Triduum, beginning Good Friday sunset, is the sabbath. In burial the Lord Jesus rested, and we rest in him. But this day is also an image of the timelessness before time began. In death the Lord Jesus entered the “formless void”, the utter nothingness before creation. On this day we continue our fasting with the anxiety of separated lovers. We keep watch, learning the lessons of restfulness, silence and darkness. We reserve this day, unique in all the year, to do nothing at all.

The third day of the Triduum, beginning Holy Saturday sunset, is the great surprise. Light is kindled in darkness. Order is born from chaos. Life puts death to death. The rainbow appears and the Red Sea opens. The Jordan skips and Jonah swims with the whale. Daniel curls up with lions and the three youths play with fire. And a slaughtered lamb rises to become our Good Shepherd.

As the darkness of this night passes over into dawn, our Paschal Triduum – our three-day Passover – is accomplished, and irresistible Easter overwhelms the world.

Peter Mazar.

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