The high point of the liturgical year starts with the Triduum and continues throughout the 50 days of the Easter season. We can use this time to reflect on how we live the Paschal Mystery. Here are some ideas to incorporate the Triduum and the Easter season into everyday life.
- Make the Triduum count. Be present in the liturgical celebrations of the Triduum, from sundown on Holy Thursday until sundown on Easter Sunday. Holy Week is the most important time in the life of our faith as we accompany Jesus through his Passion, Death, and Resurrection. Consider observing the Triduum fast from Thursday night until the Easter Vigil on Saturday night; on each day of the Triduum eat only one full meal, as well as two smaller meals that together are not equal to a full meal. Also fast from those things that distract you from being present to Jesus.
- Make Holy Thursday special. Whether you can be in church or not on Holy Thursday night, try a family foot-washing ceremony followed by a quiet meal, perhaps beginning with breaking and sharing bread.
- Experience the Passion. Wear red on Good Friday in solidarity with the suffering of Jesus. If you are unable to attend a Passion service, pray the Stations of the Cross or meditate on artwork or music that represents the suffering and Death of Jesus on the Cross.
- Make the Easter Vigil a priority. Holy Saturday is a day of preparation for the Easter feast. If your parish has the traditional blessing of the Easter foods or blessing of Easter baskets, be sure to have your baskets ready that morning. Cook, clean, and prepare your Easter dinner as much as possible on Saturday so that on Easter Sunday you can concentrate on Jesus more and worry about preparations less. At sundown, the most wonderful liturgy of the year begins with the blessing and lighting of the paschal candle. Experience the story of Salvation, the celebration of the Resurrection, and the initiation of new Christians with your faith community. If you are unable to be at church that night, light a candle and read the story of the Resurrection.
- Shift from sorrow to joy. On Easter morning, we begin a new day, leaving Lenten sorrow and drabness behind. Put on those new clothes, reminiscent of your new life in Christ at Baptism. Fill your house with music, light, and flowers, and let the feasting begin! This is when we claim our identity as an Easter people.
- Hold onto the joy. During the 50 days of Easter, continue to decorate your home with flowers and fill it with music. Wear colorful clothing, and enjoy the spring weather and family time. Celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, First Holy Communions, Confirmations, and graduations as new beginnings. Most of all, make weekend Mass a priority, for this is the time the risen Christ spent with his disciples. As his disciples, we should make time for him in his Word and the Eucharist.
What are your ideas for living the Triduum and Easter?
The With My Family section at the end of Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts sessions has ideas for celebrating the liturgical seasons at home, including Easter.