Keeping the Triduum at Home

Easter eggs

This year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cancelling of church services, families have the opportunity to observe the Triduum—the three days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday—at home. Here are some ideas:

Holy Thursday

On this day, we recall the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, and the agony in the garden.

Good Friday

On this day, we recall Jesus’ suffering and Death and venerate the Cross.

  • Invite the family to turn off all devices between noon and 3 p.m., to recall the time that Jesus suffered on the Cross. Use the time to bake hot cross buns or, if the weather permits, to go outside and plant seeds, explaining how a seed must “die” if it is to give life.
  • Make sure all children know how to pray the Sign of the Cross, and teach it to those who have yet to learn this prayer.
  • If your home does not have a crucifix, arrange to purchase one ahead of time, and then bless it and display it in a prominent place in the home.
  • Pray the Way of the Cross as a family, using the online or printable versions from Loyola Press.
  • Help your children get to know the story of Jesus’ Passion by adapting the classroom activity, “Looking for Clues,” for your family.

Holy Saturday

On this day, we hold vigil and, in the evening, we welcome the light (fire) that dispels the darkness and proclaim “Alleluia!” and “Glory to God!” for the first time in 40 days to begin the celebration of the Resurrection. We celebrate new life in Baptism and renew our baptismal promises.

  • Make a Paschal (Easter) candle as a family.
  • If weather and local fire ordinances allow, light a fire in your backyard in a fire pit (under adult supervision) and, as a family, sit silently around the fire.
  • Pull out pictures, videos, and mementos of your children’s Baptisms, and tell stories and share memories of the events. As a family, renew your baptismal promises.
  • Color Resurrection eggs, and explain how the egg is a symbol of the Resurrection (life emerging from the tomb). Decorate the eggs with religious symbols.

What other activities can families do together to mark the Triduum?

Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver on Unsplash.

About Joe Paprocki 2489 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

2 Comments on Keeping the Triduum at Home

  1. Great ideas, Joe. You make lockdown time almost sound like fun! Seriously, this may be one of my most spiritual Holy Weeks because I can attend all of the services, Masses, and prayer times on my own schedule. Thank you.

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