Throughout the world, in every Catholic Church, we will celebrate three great days. Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, called the Triduum, is our annual retreat as a community.
I encourage you to participate. Make time. Bring your children. These are the days when we tell the full story of how we came to be and who we are as Christians.
Holy Thursday is reserved for the celebration of our Lord’s Last Supper. We hear the command of Jesus to wash each other’s feet, to be humble servants of one another. As servants, we are invited to join in the sacrificial meal that makes present Jesus in this world, in this time and in this place. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper ends with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament from the church to the Eucharistic chapel of reserve to signify Christ’s time in the garden and captivity.
Tradition on this night calls us to return to the church to spend time with Jesus recalling the great sufferings he is about to undertake for us.
On Good Friday we remember our Lord’s passion and death. Each year we hear the story from Saint John’s Gospel. We pray for all the needs of the world and then we are invited to come forward and venerate the cross, showing our gratitude for the suffering of Jesus and uniting our suffering to his.
Holy Saturday Night is the holiest of all nights of the year. The service lasts longer than most because it is the night we tell our whole story. It begins with the lighting of the Easter Fire and the blessing and lighting of the Easter Candle, a sign of the presence of Christ. All worshipers are given a candle, lit from the one candle. Then the Easter Proclamation is sung, an ancient song so holy it is sung only once a year. It is on this night that new members of the community are baptized, confirmed, and received into our church. We join them in the great renunciation of sin and profession of faith. This service is longer, but it is so filled with imagery and the triumphant proclamation of the truth, that even small children are interested. And if they fall asleep on mom’s lap or dad’s shoulder—how lovely.
Holy Thursday, April 17
(No Morning Mass at Immaculate Conception—there will be a Chrism Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral at 10 am.)
Mass of the Lord’s Supper at 7 p.m.
Adoration following Mass until Midnight
Good Friday, April 18
No Morning Mass; Stations of the Cross at 8 a.m.
Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion at noon
Tenebrae at 7 p.m.
Holy Saturday, April 19
No Morning Mass
Blessing of Easter Baskets at 11 a.m. followed by Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Vigil at 8:45 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 20
Mass at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Overflow Mass 10 a.m. in Our Lady’s Plaza