The middle school youth will come to learn more about their Catholic faith and will be challenged to grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus Christ through learning about the Triduum: Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
Perhaps the three most important days during the year are called the Triduum. The word Triduum is Latin for “three days.” These three days are essential to the entire liturgical year of the Catholic Church. The General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar states:
Christ redeemed us all 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 Christ is the culmination of the entire liturgical year (18).
The Triduum begins on the evening of Holy Thursday. It includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and concludes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. While it may seem like three separate liturgies, it is really a single liturgy extending over three days. During these three days, we are encouraged to keep things simple—no elaborate meals, social engagements, or special celebrations—so that we can focus and reflect on the Paschal mystery of Christ: His death and resurrection. This is important because the Paschal mystery transcends all time. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
In the liturgy of the Church, it is principally his own Paschal mystery that Christ signifies and makes present. During his earthly life Jesus announced his Paschal mystery by his teaching and anticipated it by his actions. When his Hour comes, he lives out the unique event of history which does not pass away: Jesus dies, is buried, rises from the dead, and is seated at the right hand of the Father “once for all.” His Paschal mystery is a real event that occurred in our history, but it is unique: all other historical events happen once, and then they pass away, swallowed up in the past. The Paschal mystery of Christ, by contrast, cannot remain only in the past, because by his death he destroyed death, and all that Christ is – all that he did and suffered for all men – participates in the divine eternity, and so transcends all times while being made present in them all. The event of the Cross and Resurrection abides and draws everything toward life (1085).
During the Triduum, it is vital that we focus on the Paschal mystery: how we are called to live and die like Christ. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:
Christ stands at the heart of this gathering of men into the “family of God”. By his word, through signs that manifest the reign of God, and by sending out his disciples, Jesus calls all people to come together around him. But above all in the great Paschal mystery – his death on the cross and his Resurrection – he would accomplish the coming of his kingdom. “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” Into this union with Christ all men are called (542).
Perhaps most importantly, during this time, we must remember that Jesus Christ suffered, died and rose from the dead because of His unconditional love for each of us. His humility and sacrifice redeemed all of humanity through. As Catholics, we are called to imitate this love through living it out in our daily lives and sharing it with everyone we encounter.