Built of Living Stones 81: Holy Week and the Paschal Triduum

We’ll take four sections to discuss the most important week of the Christian year before returning to various secondary appointments in a church.

§ 81 § Passion (Palm) Sunday marks the final movement of the Lenten season toward the Triduum. The liturgy of Palm Sunday requires space for a procession that recalls Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:1-11). For the cathedral church, the additional consideration of elements of the stational (i.e. pontifical) liturgies should be part of the planning. The Paschal Triduum is the heart of the liturgical year. When designing the church, the rites of the Triduum should be reviewed to insure that planning will provide space for the key elements of the Triduum: an area for the washing of the feet, a location for the Altar of Reposition after the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, space for the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, a site for the Blessing of the Fire and the Lighting of the Paschal Candle, and space for the catechumens to be baptized and for candidates for admission to full membership to stand if they are admitted at the Vigil.

The Triduum is really important enough that it must be taken into serious consideration in the design or renovation of a church. The bishops emphasize this by placing sections 81-84 immediately after the essentials of altar, ambo, priest chair, and reservation of the Eucharist.

All texts from Built of Living Stones are copyright © 2000, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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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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