The World of Grandpa Don

Holy Week and the Easter Triduum

Iíve been told by our worship and music office that the Holy Week liturgy, the evening liturgy that spans the three days of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil) has been moderately well attended in past years.

This is disappointing to me. In a church that accommodates a thousand worshippers (and in a parish of almost four thousand households), St. Julie should be filled each of the three nights of this most important liturgy of the year.

Notice Iíve been stating this in the singular, the ďliturgy.Ē Itís not three separate liturgies, itís one liturgy that is celebrated over three nightsóthatís how important it is that we enter into the solemn observance of the paschal mystery of Jesus, his suffering, dying and rising. It takes us three days to celebrate!

Busy Lives

Sure, we all have lots of interests, lots of things to do each day. But on these three days, it would do us some good to set aside everything else and enter into the celebration of the saving mystery that makes us who we are as Christians, the suffering, dying and rising of Jesus Christ.

How Do We Celebrate This?

The first part of the liturgy, the Evening Mass of the Lordís Supper, focuses on the Eucharist and how that meal impels us into humble service of the needs of others. So, be ready to have your feet washed. Recall what Jesus says to Peter in Johnís gospel, when Peter refuses to have his feet washed: ďUnless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.Ē 

The foot washing on this evening ritualizes the inheritance we have in the saving mystery of Jesus, an inheritance that includes eating and drinking at the Table of the Lordówhich, in turn, impels us to loving, humble service of one another.

The second part of the liturgy focuses on the passion and death of the Lord Jesus, the sublime victory of the cross. So, be ready to bow, genuflect, touch or kiss the cross of Christ on this night! Because, God takes an instrument of death and turns it to the good, and in that goodness we reverence the wood of the tree of life.

The third part of the liturgy, the Vigil in the Holy Night of Easter, focuses on the good news of the resurrection. In the light of that new life, we baptize, anoint and welcome to the table those among us who have been preparing to be immersed into the saving death of the Lord Jesus. So, be ready for an exuberant, lively celebration that moves from darkness to light, from font to sacred chrism, from Word to sacrament of the Eucharist. Be ready for a lot of singing, a joyous exclamation of love, an alleluia of praise for what God has done for us in Christ.

Join Together

How can you possibly stay at home or be elsewhere these three nights? This is Easter. Itís not about bunnies and chocolate.

Itís about the life we receive from on high, from God. I invite you to take time out from the ordinary and allow yourselves to be carried by the liturgy into the extraordinary graciousness of the God who saves us from sin and death and lifts us to the dignity of his holy children.

Fr Steven Lanza


My Church

This is not so much about St. Julie Billiart parish, but about the NEW Catholic Church. It may not seem new to my children and definitely not new to my grandchildren but it is no longer the same church that I grew up in and did not understand during that time. It is new and dedicated to Jesus as a result of the Vatican II council of bishops.

Holy Week and the Easter Triduum

The World of Grandpa Don 

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