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Easter Triduum

April 15, 2009

The end of Lent and Holy Week were exceptionally difficult and intense.  It was mentally and physically exhausting as well as chaotic.  My mind was constantly going in six directions at once and then… all was quiet.  As I entered the church on Holy Thursday, I breathed a sigh of relief.

I soaked it all in, every sight, sound and smell of the Easter Triduum.  I had waited patiently all Lent for this, and I wanted to savor each moment.  It was worth it.  For all the frustrations and distractions, temptations and doubt of Lent, the beautiful traditions throughout the liturgies of the Triduum were all the more profound.

Easter truly is my favorite of all holidays.  I love the preparation all through Lent: the fasting and the struggles.  I love that the traditions of the Church serve to deepen our understanding of the Triduum.  Each and every liturgy is rich with symbolism.  I know some could see this as “unnecessary pageantry,” but the traditions and sacramentals allow “the invisible [to be] made visible through the physical.”

From the stripping of the alter on Holy Thursday to the veneration of the Cross on Good Friday; from the lighting of the Pascal fire and the Easter candle to the reading of the Exultant and the blessing of the Holy Water at the Easter Vigil, in all of this was the freedom to deeply grasp the grief of the Crucifixion and the immense joy of the Resurrection.

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