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By Rev. Chris Harris
Holy Week is an opportunity to walk alongside Jesus and experience his Passion, Death, and Resurrection over the course of a single, 3-Day service.
Like all great trilogies, each installment has its own story to tell, but their real power is when they come together to form something far greater than the sum of their parts. That is certainly true with the Great Triduum.
This coming weekend we celebrate Palm Sunday, the commemoration of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which also marks the beginning of Holy Week – the most sacred week in the church calendar. And if Holy Week is the most sacred week in our liturgical life, the summit of that week is The Holy Triduum, the three-part service known individually as Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil – a single drama that unfolds in three acts, seamlessly recalling the suffering, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. Throughout The Holy Triduum, we walk alongside Jesus and his disciples through the events of his final days in an experiential service, where we are the players, remembering the events in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago as hope gave way to despair, only to be answered by God’s final triumph!
On Maundy Thursday, we join Jesus and his disciples at the Last Supper and follow his example of humility and intimacy as we are invited to wash one another’s feet or hands (this year, we are adding an option to wash one another hands rather than each other’s feet). The service continues on Good Friday, as we enter into the sorrow and grief of the disciples as they witness the suffering and death of their friend, and then come forward ourselves to venerate the cross – as it is transformed from a symbol of suffering to a symbol of hope for the whole world. Finally, the service concludes with The Great Vigil of Easter on Saturday night, as we recount salvation history ending in the Glory of the Resurrection; as the lights come on, the bells ring out, and we celebrate God’s victory over the forces of fear and death.
It is a dramatic trilogy in which we all have a part to play, and one that becomes all the more powerful when you can experience them all. Join us!
For the complete Holy Week and Easter schedule, click here.