The Sacred Triduum is a seamless,
continuous liturgy: Three Days that connect. There was no formal
dismissal last night after the Holy Thursday Mass. We quietly moved on
from the Chapel of Repose, silently remembering the events of Jesus’
last meal with his disciples.
We come to church this Good Friday
afternoon to celebrate the Passion of the Lord, to hear the familiar
story of the events that lead up to His crucifixion. The church has
been stripped, no vestiges of the celebration last night remain. There
is no formal entrance procession with music, but rather the priests
enter from the sacristy in silence and prostrate themselves on the
floor before the altar symbolizing Jesus’ total surrender on our
Solemnity infuses the air like no other day on the liturgical calendar. Our hearts are heavy today.
The liturgy continues with the proclamation
of the Word, the Passion story is retold, the events are made real
once again. The music mournfully reflects the emptiness we feel as we
remember how Jesus gave his life for us.
We venerate the cross which is both the
instrument of death and a means to new life. Passing over our heads
amongst the assembly we briefly carry the cross and feel its weight.
We will also have the opportunity to personally venerate the cross with
There is no Eucharistic Prayer today—this
is not a Mass—but rather a communion service at which the Eucharist
consecrated last evening is distributed to us who wait with those at
the foot of the cross.
After communion we silently leave the
church and contemplate what has occurred. The Triduum continues
Saturday with the Night Watch of the Resurrection.