The Easter Triduum
Christ redeemed humankind and gave perfect glory to God principally through his paschal mystery: dying he destroyed our death and rising he restored our life. Therefore the Easter triduum of the passion and resurrection of the Lord is the culmination of the entire liturgical year. Thus the solemnity of Easter has the same kind of preeminence in the liturgical year that Sunday has in the week.
The Easter triduum of the passion and resurrection of the Lord begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with Evening Prayer on Easter Sunday, the Sunday of the Lord's resurrection.
General Norms for the Liturgical Year and Calendar, #18–19
- Summary sheet for Liturgy Preparation Groups [in preparation]
- General Norms for the Liturgical Year & Calendar 18–21 [pdf]
- Introduction to the Lectionary [pdf]
- Celebrating the Paschal Feasts
- Directory on Popular Piety
4. The Easter Triduum and the Easter Season
a .The Easter Triduum
99. On Holy Thursday at the evening Mass the remembrance of the supper preceding Christ's departure casts its own special light because of the Lord's example in washing the feet of his disciples and Paul's account of the institution of the Christian Passover in the eucharist.
On Good Friday the liturgical service has as its centre John's narrative of the passion of him who was portrayed in Isaiah as the Servant of Yahweh and who became the one High Priest by offering himself to the Father.
On the holy night of the Easter Vigil there are seven Old Testament readings, recalling the wonderful works of God in the history of salvation. There are two New Testament readings, the announcement of the resurrection according to one of the Synoptic Gospels and a reading from St. Paul on Christian baptism as the sacrament of Christ's resurrection.
The gospel reading for the Mass on Easter day is from John on the finding of the empty tomb. There is also, however, the option to use the gospel texts from the Easter Vigil or, when there is an evening Mass on Easter Sunday, to use the account in Luke of the Lord's appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The first reading is from Acts, which throughout the Easter season replaces the Old Testament reading. The reading from St. Paul concerns the living out of the paschal mystery in the Church.
- Earliest date for Easter - 22 March
- Latest date for Easter - 25 April
- Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper
- Celebration of the Lord's Passion
- The Easter Vigil
- Mass of the Day
V1 = Ritual Masses (General Instruction of the Roman Missal [hereafter, GIRM], no. 372).
Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses, in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the direction of the local Ordinary or with his permission (GIRM, no. 374).
V2 = Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses, in cases of serious need or pastoral advantage, at the discretion of the rector of the church or the priest celebrant (GIRM, no. 376).
V3 = Masses for various needs and occasions and votive Masses chosen by the priest celebrant in favour of the devotion of the people (GIRM, no. 373, 375).
D1 = Funeral Mass (GIRM, no. 380).
D2 = Mass on the occasion of news of a death, final burial, or the first anniversary (GIRM, no. 381).
D3 = Daily Mass for the dead (GIRM, no. 381). When D1 and D2 are not permitted, neither is D3.