It consists in three days, at the same time it is only one. But if we had to count well, it amounts to four, and all are to be considered as one. This is the “Easter Triduum” which celebrates the mystery of Christ, betrayed, offended, condemned, dead, buried and resurrected. They are three holy days with a prologue and a long holy continuation of 50 days. All this, with all its unity and diversity, is Easter.
We can see the succession of this drama. A prologue: Holy Thursday is the Lord’s Last Supper. The first day: Good Friday is the Lord’s Passion. The second day: Holy Saturday the burial of the Lord. The third day: Sunday the day of the Resurrection of the Lord.
Holy Thursday: the Lord’s Last Supper. The atmosphere must be recreated: afternoon, an air of festivity. We do what Christ did with His disciples. We gather together with our family. It’s the day when Christ instituted the Eucharist and we enact it doing just what He did. We wash the Apostles’ feet and their successors as a great sign of charity and submission. Christ did not come to be served, He came to serve His brothers. Furthermore, we are asked to spend some time reciting prayers durig the evening. In this way, we live the Eucharist in a vigil. In addition, we are told explicitly to read chapters from 13 to 17 of the Gospel according to St. John, this means, that we commemorate in our prayers what occurred to Christ “on the night he was betrayed”. The night is too short, seeing that it will not be sufficient to contemplate the total delivery of Christ including the lamento f the same Christ, who was then abbandoned by those whom He had called. Night of prayer and silence in prayer.
Good Friday the Day of the Lord’s death. Everything is centred on the”celebration of the Passion of the Lord,” but it is not the only the lithurgical gathering in this day. The community gathers to pray in praises and recite the readings. Then, around noon, it gathers to celebrate the Lord’s death. A profound silence marks the beginning of the liturgy: prostration and prayer adapted to the day and time. Butabove all, we read the passion according to St. John. The Church and the Roman Liturgy always celebrated on Good Friday: reading the story of the Evangelist who witnessed and experienced this event . More silence and prayer. The sober Roman Liturgy continues and takes on an Eastern popular and emoziona rite: the kiss of the cross and the Crucified. The celebration ends asking God the Father that for the community that has “celebrated the death of Your Son, in the hope of His Holy resurrection” be given the consolation of the Lord, be increased in faith and consolidated in the eternal redemption (prayer over the people). The rest is silence and mourning.
The Holy Saturday of the burial of the Lord. The Church is vigil to the corpse of its bride. It’s the day after. As happens after the death of a loved one, we wonder: now what do we do? We pray and wait in hope. This is the response of a church that understands and looks for its objective. In the day of Christ’s death, the liturgy of the hours is distraught by a sorrow permeated by hope. There is a concentration of elements that predict major events. Sunday is the Day of the Feast. During the night, Christ resurrects
Christ resurrects. The community celebrates and is aware of this, this is why they celebrate in the wake, so transforming the meaning of the night, so that when it dawns, it does with the joyful singing of resurrection. The candle is lit and blessed, and the proclamation of Easter is sung, we remember the history of the chosen people in a long liturgy of the Word, Christians are baptised or initiated,or their vows renewed and celebrated in the Eucharist. Holy Saturday Night, is the most sacred day of the resurrection of the Lord and are one thing. Resurrexit et adhuc tecum sum (I am risen and I am always with you!).
The Christian is born again because of Christ, our Passover, has risen. The Eucharist is the maximum peak of the celebrations of the Easter Triduum, in the Holy night of Easter. But that’s not all. The prayer of the hours of the Holy Triduum celebrates the mystery of Easter with biblical, patristic and ecclesiological resonances. Even the silence and the expectation is part of the various elements that go to make up the Easter Triduum.And we, what should we do? There are but no other choices than what Christ himself did and ordered us we do. Eat with Christ, accompany him to the garden of olives and to Calvary, die with him and, above all, ressurect with him. Everyone has a last supper. There is even something of Gethsemane. On the tips of our toes we approach Mount Calvary. Would we rather continue staring at the empty tomb or going to Galilee every day repeating what Christ did?
Translation provided by Marina Stronati