The height and depth of our paschal celebrating find their center in the days of the Triduum. This is where the primal stories of our faith are recited; this is where catechumens become enlightened; this is where the faithful are renewed. Gabe Huck reminds us that the Three Days are not just occasional gatherings to remember what was happening to Jesus at this or that moment. Rather, on Thursday night we assemble and together enter into the Triduum. We assemble not to represent the past but to capture the moment of our redemption, for "this is the night" as we proclaim in the singing of the Exsultet at the Easter Vigil.
The actions and symbolism of the Triduum are what titillate the senses. The various aspects of the liturgies draws the community into the significance of all that is happening; namely, of washing feet, stripping the altar, the cross, the paschal candle and the first fire; of waiting, water and sweet-smelling oil; and of a neophyte's first taste of Eucharist. It is bare bones and direct. And hopefully it is the community's ritual at its best and brightest. The days of the Triduum are a contrast to Lent. Silence and "fasting" are heightened. All the waiting and preparing of Lent and the first days of the Triduum come to fruition in the celebration of these three days. We move from fasting to feasting and begin the 50 days festive celebration of the Easter Season.
[Source: Supplement, St. Paul Roman Catholic Cathedral, Saskatoon, SK, Canada; March, 2010]