Pastor Scott - March 27, 2023
By Pastor Scott
Now that’s a word for a crossword puzzle!
Triduum refers to the three days leading up to Easter. Too many people go right from the joyous shouts of Hosanna on Palm Sunday to the resurrection shouts of Hallelujah on Easter without experiencing the complete Passion Story through the Triduum. Without this complete journey, you miss the suffering of Jesus and even mute the celebration of Easter.
Triduum begins with Maundy Thursday. The word “maundy” is a Latin word that means “command,” as in the words of Jesus at the Last Supper, “A new command I give to you. Love one another as I have loved you.”
At Christ Lutheran, we will celebrate Maundy Thursday with a service at 12:00 and 7:00 complete with the laying on of hands and the absolution of sins (held over from Ash Wednesday) and the stripping of the altar, to signify the stripping of Jesus and the stark reality of the cross that is to come.
In addition, we will have a 24-hour Prayer Vigil that begins after this worship service and lasts until Good Friday. I encourage you to sign up for one hour of prayer. This is reminiscent of Jesus’ exhortation to his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane to stay awake with him and pray for one hour. This Vigil will be held in the Lackey Chapel where we will gather with others to pray.
The second day of the Triduum is Good Friday where we will have four worship services:
10:00 Children’s Good Friday at Christ Chapel, Providence
12:00 Reading of the Seven Last Words, Sanctuary, Providence
7:30 Tenebrae Service, Sanctuary, Providence
7:30 Tenebrae Service, Christ Concord
For many, this is the most powerful service of the year, with the drama and tragedy of the cross shrouded in the darkness that threatens to overwhelm God’s grace, but ultimately cannot.
The third day of the Triduum is Holy Saturday. Though Christ Lutheran does not have a service on this day, traditionally this was an important day in the Church. People who wanted to be baptized would spend a year in preparation before coming to be baptized on Holy Saturday, the eve of Easter. And then, at a lengthy, sometimes three-five hour service going late into the night and ending at midnight, the newly baptized would culminate their preparations by going into the waters so that their old self would die with Christ so that their new self would rise with Christ at Easter.
This year, don’t jump too quickly from the joyous shouts of Hosanna on Palm Sunday to the celebration of Hallelujah on Easter. Slow it down. Feel the weight of the Triduum upon your soul. Walk the path of the cross from the Last Supper to the arrest to the scourging to the crucifixion that you might join us on Easter Sunday with a heightened sense of the gift of new life that is ours through Jesus’ resurrection.