Thursday, March 29, 2018

Holy Week: The Triduum

The Triduum begins tonight with the Mass of the Lord's Supper, the Washing of the Feet, the Stripping of the Altars, the Transfer of the Eucharist to the Altar of Repose, and the Night of Watching. I'll be at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament with the Holy Week issue of Magnificat, such an indispensable companion tonight and tomorrow and through the Triduum through Easter Sunday. In addition to the Morning and Evening Prayers and the readings for the Masses and Good Friday service throughout the week, it provides a beautiful collection of devotional aids. One line in the Via Crucis prayers has resonated with me since I started using it last week:

"An instrument used to execute criminals stands at the center of all Catholic life and practice. From the moment that Jesus takes up his cross, nothing that transpires in the Church of Christ makes sense apart from his cross."

Stat crux dum volvitur orbis is the Carthusian motto: The cross stands firm while the world is turning.

In the silence of Holy Week, during the services of the Holy Triduum, it almost seems like the world stops turning as time stands still.

Pange, lingua, gloriósi
Córporis mystérium,
Sanguinísque pretiósi,
Quem in mundi prétium
Fructus ventris generósi
Rex effúdit géntium.
Nobis datus, nobis natus
Ex intácta Vírgine,
Et in mundo conversátus,
Sparso verbi sémine,
Sui moras incolátus
Miro clausit órdine.
In suprémæ nocte coenæ
Recúmbens cum frátribus
Observáta lege plene
Cibis in legálibus,
Cibum turbæ duodénæ
Se dat suis mánibus.
Verbum caro, panem verum
Verbo carnem éfficit:
Fitque sanguis Christi merum,
Et si sensus déficit,
Ad firmándum cor sincérum
Sola fides súfficit.
Venerémur cérnui:
Et antíquum documéntum
Novo cedat rítui:
Præstet fides suppleméntum
Sénsuum deféctui.
Genitóri, Genitóque
Laus et jubilátio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedíctio:
Procedénti ab utróque
Compar sit laudátio.

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