The Three Days [Tri Duum] of Our Lord represent the pinnacle of worship in the Christian community. The events of these Three Days stand not only at the very heart of our faith, but also represent some of the richest and most profound rituals of any Christian liturgy.
These three services are filled with words: word s surrounding the Absolution and Foot Washing of Maundy [Mandatum] Thursday, the Bidding Prayer and Reproaches of Good [GOD’s] Friday, and the vivid pictures of the readings for [The Great Vigil of] Easter.
These liturgies, led with grace, strength, and wide pastoral and lay leadership, are sine qua none, some of the most powerful and meaningful services of the year.
We will have been prepared for the different scenes of Holy Week by witnessing the remaining Sundays in Lent, especially the stories from the Gospel.
Sunday, 3 April, Lent V, takes us away from Luke and brings the only reading for the season from John’s gospel, the story of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with costly perfume. Both chronologically and thematically, this reading takes us right up to the events that will unfold in The Three Days.
Each Sunday thus far in Lent, even the Prayer of the Day offers the preacher and the people a succinct framing of the theme of the liturgy. The prayers for this season have brought rich imagery for repentance and grace:
parched stony ground and the promised land,
gathering arms and sheltering mercy,
saving love and second chances,
garments of grace and an overloaded table, and
a wilderness out of which surges an ever-flowing stream.
Now we are ready for Easter.
Since the first century, the primary day for us to assemble around word and sacrament has been Sunday, because every Sunday is understood as the day of resurrection.
The Proper Preface to the Eucharistic prayer for the Sundays of Easter says of Christ “who on this day overcame death and the grave, and by his glorious resurrection opened to us the way of everlasting life.”
May that blessed declaration be intimately ours this Easter season!
A Blessed Easter,