Many of the details that follow hold for Anglican and Evangelical Lutheran churches as well as Catholic worship. The ceremony of darkness and light is held at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass. The paschal candle , whose lighting symbolizes the resurrection of Christ from the dead, [17] is lit from the new Easter fire. The solemn procession to the altar with the Paschal candle is formed.

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This includes the Easter Vigil, the focal point of the Triduum. The word Triduum comes from the Latin word meaning "three days. Thus, the Triduum consists of three full hour days which begin and end in the evening.

The Triduum technically is not part of Lent at least in the modern Catholic liturgical calendar , but Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are still considered as part of the traditional forty day Lenten fast. The Triduum celebrates the heart of Christian faith, salvation, and redemption: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Thus, the Triduum commemorates the Institution of the Eucharist the "sacrament of sacraments" , the passion, crucifixion, death of the Lord, his descent to the dead, and finally his glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday. Along with the Ascension , these important events make up the Paschal Mystery. So, even though the liturgical year begins chronologically at Advent , it reaches its culmination during the Easter Triduum, particularly at Easter, the "solemnity of solemnities," the "Great Feast.

Gradually, on either side of this source, the year is transfigured by the liturgy. History Christians have been commemorating the death and resurrection of Jesus since Apostolic times, because his death and resurrection are at the heart of Christian salvation. At least by the second century, Christians celebrated the Great Easter Vigil, an event which began the night of Holy Saturday, continuing until dawn on Easter morning.

During this vigil, Christians commemorated salvation history, awaited the return of Jesus, and celebrated the resurrection of Jesus at dawn on Easter Sunday. It was at the vigil that catechumens, after a three year period of catechesis, were baptized and received first communion. The Easter Vigil was the most important day of the liturgical year. Nonetheless, over time, as the liturgical year expanded, the Easter Vigil lost its preeminence, although the three days celebrating the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus still held an important place in the Church Year.

Since the liturgical reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the Easter Vigil, and the Triduum, have regained their position of prominence in the Western Catholic liturgical calendar.

Many Protestant churches do not recognize the Triduum as a liturgical season, and observe Lent until the Easter Vigil begins. Worship And Prayer Resources.


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