Three Days

Today is the last day of Lent. The Paschal Triduum begins with the evening liturgy of the Last Supper. In most places this is a Mass, but my friend and fellow blogger John reports that in rural Honduras, other options are observed when the priest is not present. In the States, clustered parishes combine for a centrally-located liturgy more often than not as I’ve experienced or seen promoted.

The days in question are counted as approximately seventy-two hours from Thursday evening to Easter Vespers II on Sunday evening, and not really as three calendar days of today, tomorrow, and Saturday. I read an online dictionary entry that described the term triduum spatium as being a Latin expression meaning a “space of three days.” Space, not span. Seems a bit like spacetime.

Triduum is also a general term for a three-day period of prayer. It is almost always applied to the Paschal period of three days. But like “novena,” it is a flexible concept. An engaged couple might observe a triduum by praying and preparing for marriage for a period, say, of a Wednesday lunch through the Rite of Marriage on a Saturday afternoon that might include a Mass of Thanksgiving for family and early guests, a wedding rehearsal, ritual and celebration preparations, special twosome prayers for the couple, and the like.

I’m not sure about the content of blogging here the next few days. I’m suspending the regular series on Evangelii Gaudium and Dies Domini until Sunday or Monday. Reflecting on those documents seems to have taken up quite a bit of energy these days. And when you get to my age, the energy is there. But I prefer to save it for other tasks and topics.

I feel I’ve blogged quite a few morsels over the years on the Triduum, so unless something inspires or strikes me, there may only be a daily posting. Or it could be a handful. Maybe a music suggestion or two.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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