During Wednesday’s general audience, Pope John Paul explained the importance of the Easter Triduum, which begins tomorrow on Holy Thursday, and called on Catholics to “relive the great mystery of our salvation.”
John Paul II recalled that on Holy Thursday morning the bishop celebrates with his diocesan community the Chrism Mass during which oils are blessed.
In the afternoon, at the Mass of “the Last Supper, the institution of the Eucharist and the Priesthood, will be commemorated,” during which there is the washing of the feet, a sign of “Jesus’ new commandment of love.” After Mass, it is a customary to adore the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night.
“On Good Friday,” he continued, “the Church commemorates the passion and death of Our Lord. The Christian assembly is invited to meditate on the evil and sin that oppress humanity and on the salvation obtained through Christ’s redemptive sacrifice.” On the same day, the Cross is venerated and the Way of the Cross is usually recited.
The Pope indicated that Holy Saturday “is characterized by great silence.” On this day, there are no liturgical celebrations scheduled, “as the faithful, imitating Mary, prepare for the grand event of the Resurrection.”
In the evening “the solemn Easter vigil, the mother of all vigils,” takes place and the Church “meditates on the great promise of the definitive liberation from the slavery of sin and from death.”
“The announcement of the Resurrection,” he said, “interrupts the darkness of night and all of creation is awakened from the slumber of death to know the Lordship of Christ.”
The Holy Father ended by indicating that these days “are an opportune occasion for a sincere conversion of heart to Him Who died for us out of love.”
“Let us allow Mary, the faithful Virgin, to accompany us. With her, let us be in the Cenacle and stay alongside Jesus on Calvary, in order to meet Him, the Risen Lord, on Easter day,” he concluded.