Cleansing Fire

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The Easter Triduum Begins

April 1st, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

Tonight marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum, the three days which encompass the Passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. The first day, Holy Thursday, is when we celebrate the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. At this special liturgy, we remember the institution of the Holy Eucharist, as well as the institution of the ordained priesthood which has the duty to consecrate the Eucharist.

There are a number of unique features of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper.

1. The tabernacle is to be left empty. The priest will consecrate as many hosts as he deems necessary for tonight, and for Good Friday services.
2. During the Gloria, the bells are rung. After this, they are not rung again until the Easter vigil Mass.
3. The priest may carry out the ritual foot washing, where twelve men are selected from the congregation to have their feet washed by the priest. This is done, per the example of our Lord in John’s Gospel, to show service for one another as well as humility.
4. Communion is encouraged under both species for this Mass, though not required. The local ordinary has the final say on this.
5. The Profession of Faith is not recited.
6. The Eucharist after Communion is then left on the altar while the priest incenses the Body of Christ in the ciborium. Following this, the priest takes the ciborium, and processes with it to the altar/place of repose.
7. The altar is stripped, and crucifixes may be removed from the church proper.
8. The faithful are encouraged to adore the Blessed Sacrament until midnight

There will be an article on Good Friday tomorrow. Remember, tomorrow is a day of fast and abstinence.

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3 Responses to “The Easter Triduum Begins”

  1. avatar Anonymous says:

    Let's not forget this one:

    "Careful attention should be given to the mysteries that are commemorated in this Mass: the institution of the Eucharist, the institution of the priesthood, and Christ's command of brotherly love; the homily should explain these points."
    (Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts, 45)

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    Oddly, what I like as much as anything is that this is the one time I usually get to hear the Roman Canon – Eucharistic Prayer I. That's not to say EP II and III are not just fine – it's just that EP I is, IMHO, something even more special.

    Has it ever struck anyone else as ironic that liberal priests NEVER say EP I despite the fact that it is the only canon that specifically commemorates women saints (other than BVM) admittedly in one of it's optional sections. I remember reading years ago (can't remember where – nor can I vouch for the truth of same though it seems likely)that Pope Gregory added the list of women saints when it was pointed out to him that there was no mention of women in the Canon. Feminism of the right type!

    Also, some years back the diocesan paper of my current diocese published an article on the glories of the Roman Canon. At the time I had not heard any priest actually say it in 20+ years. As I mentioned to my pastor, I was not sure what message the paper meant to send, but I was quite sure the actual message delivered was not it.

    Keep up the good work – and if you EVER again post an April fools joke like you did this year I feel sure God will create a special purgatorial penance for you!! 🙂

    Pax te cum

  3. avatar Gen says:

    Maybe next year we will have the real thing.

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