If you have never experienced the full participation of the Easter Triduum, you may want to include in this year. The Triduum begins with Holy Thursday. The first reading is from Exodus, chapter 12. It describes how the community of Israel is to partake of the Passover meal. It reminds the Hebrews that this will be a memorial feast for them as a perpetual institution. Then Psalm 116 reminds us of giving thanksgiving to God for the cup of salvation He has provided us. The second reading is from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians. Paul recalls the last supper where Christ asked the apostles to celebrage the blessing and breaking of bread as His body given for us. He asks for this new covenant to be done in remmbrance and continued until the Lord comes again. The Gospel according to John begins with Christ washing the feet of the apostles and ends with Christ reminding them to do as He has done. “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do” Jn 13:15. The apostles are given their instructions for how they will coninue when Jesus is not longer with them. They are called to love and to serve. The mass does not end as usual. The Blessed Sacrament is incensed and is carried through the church and placed in a side chapel or other suitable place within the church so Our Lord may be adored. The altar is stripped as we await the Passion on Friday.
On Good Friday, mass is not celebrated. We begin with our readings and once again, the Passion is read. The Church prays the Solemn Intercessions where we pray for al the world, the Pope, the faithful, catechumens, all Chrisitans, the Jewish people, those who do not believe in Christ and in God, those in public office and those in tribulation. The service continues with the Veneration of the Cross. The cross is the symbol of our redemption. As horrible the suffering and death our Lord endured, it resulted in His resurrection where we were redeemed. So, we venerate the cross. The third part is Holy Communion. The consecretion does not take place as enought Hosts are consecrated on Holy Thursday for use on Good Friday.
Celebrating the first two days of Triduum prepares for Easter. Easter with the signing of the. Gloria and Alleluia and joyous celebration of the mass are upon us. The Lenten practices of prayer, sacrifice and almsgivng prepare us the deepen our spiritual life through Easter and the next year.
If we are not growing in faith, we are falling back. There is not a state of maintenance in the faith. We are to deepen our faith each year.