The Easter Triduum, AKA the Sacred Three Days of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, is full of symbols and rituals that engage the senses. Every sense is involved. We can see, taste, smell, feel, and hear the liturgy.
Our sense of sight awakens as the glistening oils are brought in procession during the first minutes of the Holy Thursday liturgy celebrating the Lord’s Supper. We hear the joyous ringing of bells during the Glory to God and the splashing of water at the washing of the feet. We taste the consecrated bread and become what we eat—the Body of Christ. We smell the incense as the Blessed Sacrament is brought to the Altar of Repose. We feel the mood of solemnity as we leave in silence, preparing our senses for the contrasting sensory experience of emptiness and subdued starkness on Good Friday.
The same darkness begins the Easter Vigil, but soon we thrill to the leaping Easter fire. This “liturgy of liturgies” is a veritable feast for the senses. The lights are bright, the candle flames warm, the music boisterous, the excitement of the newly baptized contagious, the lilies pungent.
Spend time now planning for Holy Week so that you will be able to attend all three services. Everything else should cease. Cook, clean, and decorate as much as possible before Holy Thursday.
When your closest friends and relatives invite you to a feast, will you attend? Where else would you want to be? If your closest friend or family member is dying, will you stay with them? Where else would you be? If your closest friends and family members celebrate a victory, wouldn’t you celebrate with them? Where else would you be? Our God invites us to the Sacred Triduum. Where else would you be?