In Holy Week we celebrate mystery NOT history. These liturgies do not take us back in time but into what is happening now in our lives, today. We are invited to enter into the mystery and anticipate our own Resurrection with the Lord. We are reminded to keep the paschal fast on Good Friday and Holy Saturday until the Easter Vigil. Fast and pray and give alms. In Holy Week we unite ourselves to Jesus, our sufferings to his, so that we might also join with him in the Resurrection.
Today we prepare to celebrate the holiest time of the year. Throughout Lent we have been preparing to commemorate the Lord’s Passion, Death and Resurrection.
TRIDUUM = three days. The Easter/Paschal liturgy is three days in length. The services are one, long liturgy commemorating Jesus’ Passion in three liturgical settings. The Paschal mystery is simply too big to celebrate in only one day. So we celebrate the Triduum, three days of the Paschal mystery. From ancient times we find that Holy Thursday Mass has no closing, no dismissal. There will be no Mass on Good Friday, but only a Communion Service after the service of the Passion of our Lord. There is no opening or dismissal at this service. There is no Mass or Communion Service on Holy Saturday before the Easter Vigil Mass. There is no formal opening for the Vigil Mass Saturday evening. Only at the end of the Mass at Easter Vigil, the Mass of the Resurrection, will there be a formal dismissal. The Resurrection is too great a mystery to celebrate in only one day. The Triduum is one extended liturgical celebration spread over three days.