We’re on the cusp of the holiest of days.
For those who call themselves Christian, the Triduum is the most sacred time of the year. A truth often buried under piles of Easter candy, pink bunnies and plastic grass.
Each day has a distinct flavor. The earthy service of Holy Thursday: washing dirty feet and breaking bread with friends. The stark emptiness of Good Friday: lamenting death and sitting with suffering. The long stretch of Holy Saturday: wondering and waiting. And the brilliant delight of Easter Sunday: singing joy and celebrating life.
I love Triduum. Every year I slowly slip into a lackluster Lent, but always find myself on the eve of Triduum with childlike anticipation. Because the journey from Thursday to Sunday never fails to surprise as it draws me into the stories and the rituals, the sacred and the mystery.
Triduum sums up what I love about being Catholic: ritual, liturgy, Scripture, sacrament. I wrestle with my faith and my church and my God every other day of the year. But for these four days, I enter in deeply, willingly, openly.
That said, the prospect of multiple church services with a baby and a toddler in tow is practically laughable. I’m sure we’ll end up with good story material this year as we always do. And I know much of our Holy Week will be lived out at home, which is just fine, too.
To balance the mayhem we’ll bring to Mass, I’ve collected a handful of lovely reads and reflections to help celebrate each day at home, during those rare gems of quiet moments to myself. Perhaps a few will intrigue or inspire you as well:
Palm Sunday lessons from an unlikely Pontius Pilate by James Martin, SJ. “Because, as even a six-year-old knows, everyone roses from the dead.”
Strip.ped bare: Holy Week and the art of losing by Richard Lischer for Holy Thursday
Busted Halo’s excellent Virtual Stations of the Cross for Good Friday
What did Jesus do on Holy Saturday? From the Washington Post’s On Faith blog
And lest you get overwhelmed, take this advice and let one piece of the Passion rest in your thoughts this week. The whole is too much for any of us to hold.
(Especially without a good soundtrack to accompany the highs and lows.)
Happy holy week. We’re almost there.