The Easter Triduum (TRID-you-um) is the three days prior to Easter Sunday—Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday—that conclude Holy Week. Each of these days has its own “Proper Liturgy”—its own special service. In observing these three days, we walk with Jesus through the last hours of his life before his arrest to his trial, crucifixion, death, and burial.
The Triduum ends when Easter begins, at sunset on Holy Saturday. Then comes the Great Vigil of Easter, the first and primary celebration of Easter and the liturgical high point of the Christian year. At the Vigil we emerge from the darkness of death into the new light of the resurrected Christ; we commemorate the moment when grief turns to joy as Jesus rises from the grave.
Come walk with us through the Easter Triduum and remember the great sacrifice of Christ, given for our salvation.
Maundy Thursday Liturgy – March 29, 2018 at 7pm. Thursday in Holy Week gets its name from the Latin translation of John 13:34, “mandatum novum”, which in English means “new commandment”. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the institution of the Eucharist; Jesus’ washing his disciples’ feet, and the giving of that new commandment, that they should love one another as Jesus loved them. We remember Jesus’ betrayal, strip the altar, and remove all decorative furnishings from the church for the observance of Good Friday and the time of Jesus’s death. (See p. 274 in the Book of Common Prayer.)
Good Friday Liturgy – March 30, 2018 at 12 noon. The Good Friday liturgy is a commemoration of and deep meditation on the crucifixion. (See p. 276 in the Book of Common Prayer.) We read again the story of Jesus’ Passion (his redemptive suffering) from the Gospel of John, and include devotions before the cross (known as the “veneration” of the cross). We depart in silence, solemnly observing the hours of Jesus’ death and entombment.
Holy Saturday – On the final day of the Triduum, our liturgy marks the time Christ lay in the tomb. It is not our custom at present to observe this liturgy.
Easter Vigil and Easter Day
Easter Vigil – March 31, 2018 at 9 pm bring your bells to ring as we emerge from the darkness of the tomb to the new light of the resurrection! This liturgy is the first (and arguably, the primary) celebration of Easter (see p. 284 in the Book of Common Prayer). The service begins in darkness and consists of four parts: The Service of Light (kindling of new fire, lighting the Paschal candle, the Exsultet); The Service of Lessons (readings from the Hebrew Scriptures interspersed with psalms, canticles, and prayers); Christian Initiation (Holy Baptism) or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows; and the Eucharist. Through this liturgy, we join in an ancient practice of keeping the Easter feast, going back at least to the second century. Believers would gather in the hours of darkness ending at dawn on Easter to hear scripture and offer prayer. This night-long service of prayerful watching anticipated the baptisms that would come at first light and the Easter Eucharist. Easter was the primary baptismal occasion for the early church to the practical exclusion of all others. This practice linked the meanings of Christ's dying and rising to the understanding of baptism.
Easter Sunday – We will have our two Easter Day services at 8 am and 10 am with our Easter Egg Hunt at 11:30 am.