The Triduum and Easter Sunday

(Note: Mass schedule during Holy Week follows the usual Mass schedule.  Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday and concludes Thursday afternoon.)

The high point of the Catholic liturgical year is the Sacred Passover Triduum, which lasts from Thursday evening to the Mass of the Resurrection on Saturday evening. Though spread out over several days, the Triduum is counted as one, continuous celebration.

Maundy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper (7 pm) is our annual celebration of the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist. Also included in the Maundy Thursday ceremonies is an optional ritual called “the Mandatum”, during which the members of our Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, who serve the poor, will receive the “Washing of Feet”. The Maundy Thursday celebration is followed by the stripping of the Holy Altar, and quiet adoration of Christ’s Sacred Body, ending at midnight.

Good Friday of the Passion of the Lord (7 pm) is a solemn Celebration of the Lord’s Passion, which includes the solemn Adoration of the Holy Cross. Good Friday begins the only time of the year when priests do not offer Mass, and begins the only time of the year when the Most Blessed Sacrament is not publicly reserved in any church, chapel or oratory. For about 24 hours, the Sacred Substance of Christ is gone from the Earth. When the Good Friday ceremonies are over, everyone departs in silence, maintaining this sacred silence throughout all our buildings and grounds.

Holy Saturday is a day of quiet and fasting as we recall Christ’s time in the tomb. There is no Mass during the day in any Catholic Church on Holy Saturday.

For Catholics, Sundays begin on Saturday evenings, recalling the ancient Jewish practice of marking each new day at sundown. Easter Sunday, therefore, begins at sundown of Holy Saturday. Our fasting ends and our celebration begins with the Easter Vigil (8:30 pm) as we ignite the fire of resurrection during the Lucernarium, and as we recall the mysteries of our salvation through a comprehensive series of biblical readings. Then, we resurrect the Alleluia from its tomb, welcome new Catholics into the Holy Church, recall our Baptisms and Confirmations, and feast upon the Body and Blood of our resurrected Savior.

Easter Day Masses follow a modified Sunday schedule: 8 am, 9:30 am, 11 am, 2 pm (Spanish), and 6 pmN.B.: there will be no Confessions before any of the Masses here on Easter Sunday. Sunday Confessions will resume on Divine Mercy Sunday for those who arrive thirty minutes before Mass.