GILH 208-213: Triduum

There were a few surprises for me as I reread this section on the Easter Triduum

208. For the Easter triduum the office is celebrated in the way set forth in the Proper of Seasons.

209. Those who take part in the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper or the celebration of the Lord’s passion on Good Friday do not say evening prayer on either day.

Many of my liturgist colleagues bemoan the movement of the celebration of the Lord’s Passion to evening, though it does maximize the opportunity for the participation of the laity. I was surprised to see the evening prayer-Good Friday link.

210. On Good Friday and Holy Saturday the office of readings should be celebrated publicly with the people before morning prayer, as far as this is possible.

Any readers doing this in parishes?

211. Night prayer for Holy Saturday is said only by those who are not present at the Easter Vigil.

212. The Easter Vigil takes the place of the office of readings. Those not present at the solemn celebration of the Vigil should therefore read at least four of its readings with the chants and prayers. It is desirable that these be the readings from Exodus, Ezekiel, St. Paul, and from the Gospel. The Te Deum follows, then the prayer of the day.

Liturgists know that the required reading for the Easter Vigil is one of the two passages from Isaiah, not Ezekiel.

213. Morning prayer for Easter Sunday is said by all. It is fitting that evening prayer be celebrated in a more solemn way to mark the ending of so holy a day and to commemorate the occasions when the Lord showed himself to his disciples. Great care should be taken to maintain, where it exists, the particular tradition of celebrating evening prayer on Easter Sunday in honor of baptism. During this there is a procession to the font as the psalms are being sung.

Many of my colleagues in liturgy and catechumenate ministry attempt this. Many more beg off, citing the demands on energy, time, and volunteers. I confess I’ve fallen into the latter category, but it’s really a matter of pacing oneself.

Any thoughts on Easter Vespers? That procession? How it’s been made to work well where people have been brave enough to implement it?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to GILH 208-213: Triduum

  1. Liam says:

    A few random thoughts:

    1. Which is more pastoral: scheduling Vespers or the Commemoration of the Lord’s PAssion for the evening of Good Friday?

    2. For the readings of the Easter Vigil that are required, in substance if not form they are all required now absent grave reason. The rubrics for the Missal were changed after those for the LOH.

    3. IIRC, my parish does offer the Office of Readings and morning prayer on the morning of Holy Saturday. NOt that I’ve participated.

    4. Vespers of Easter: there hase been one change with two causes (one liturgical/canonical, the other cultural) that have made this more difficult in the past couple of the generations. The change has to do with the timing of Easter dinner in the domestic church, as it were. When the former fasting rules obtained, and in a culture where it was normal to have Sunday dinner in the early afternoon, there were two foundations that supported the great Easter feast occur at a time that made going to Vespers much more inviting. This dynamic, btw, applies beyond Easter but most especially to Easter (because it’s hard to convey to people what the Easter feast was like when one was fasting the entirety of Lent save SUndays on the part of some – nowadays, the Easter feast is an echo).

  2. Rob F. says:


    Re #1, I think the idea is that the commemoration takes precedence over vespers. Good Friday vespers is only a backup option for those who cannot or did not attend the commemoration. Similarly, Maundy Thursday vespers and Easter Sunday office of reading are only backup options for those who were not present at the appropriate Triduum mass.

  3. Pingback: Later on Easter Sunday | Catholic Sensibility

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