All posts tagged: Paschal Triduum

Good Friday’s Silence Speaks

Silence speaks. On a first date, long periods of silence, say, “This is not going well. Why is this human being so painfully boring?” On a hike through a gorgeous mountain pass, silence bespeaks wonder at the created universe. At a funeral, silence signifies the pain of losing one we have loved so deeply. At a wedding, it testifies to the joy of nuptial love. In this way, silence is not the absence of meaning, but a kind of privileged form of poetic discourse.  Silence is the linguistic posture of wonder, of awe, of mourning, of contemplation. The Good Friday liturgy begins in silence, the priest and deacons processing through the aisle then lying prostrate upon the floor. Indeed, the silence in the church on Good Friday is as much visual as aural. The altar, bare. The cross, empty. The Eucharist, absent. Candles, snuffed out. Even the stomach is empty. Yet, as the liturgy progresses something begins to happen to the permeating silence. It gives up its space to the word, to the image. Lengthy …

Editorial Musings: Motherhood and the Paschal Mystery

On the night my first child was born, when she finally came into the light and they placed her onto my stomach, that moment of first seeing her face, right in front of me, was a beautiful shock: her wide open grey-blue eyes looking straight into mine, her forehead creased with deep wrinkles. There she was. After nine months of trying to imagine and understand the reality of the life that was developing within me, there she was. I thought I had grasped, in the waiting, the fact that there was a little person inside my body. But when placed face-to-face with this brand new human, the distance between what I thought I’d understood and what was really true came to light along with her tiny body. The encounter with that face was a revelation of how much had been unknown, even if so anxiously anticipated and indeed physically felt—from the first flutters of movement to the discomfort of kicked ribs. A human person had grown inside of me, her reality—dimly perceived in a sonogram—now …

Fiat et Consummatum est

Tomorrow we enter into the celebration of the Sacred Paschal Triduum, the climax of the liturgical year, commemorating the Last Supper, the Passion and Death, and the Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. This year, Good Friday falls on March 25, thereby superceding the Solemnity of the Incarnation (the Annunciation), which is normally celebrated on that day, marking exactly nine months before Christmas.[1] There exists, however, a custom that can be traced at least as far as Tertullian (c. 155 – c. 240 AD), to make the Lord’s life on earth an exact number of years, even down to the day. Accordingly, March 25 became also the date of the Crucifixion. This tradition entered ancient martyrologies and was supported by homilists of the day. Subsequently, other customs developed. Calendars in the Middle Ages, for example, listed for March 25 the following events: The Creation of the World The Fall of Adam and Eve The Sacrifice of Isaac The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt The Incarnation The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus Christ The Last …