Triduum? What is that?

by Rev. Kerry Smith

I love church words that we only use in church - words like Eucharist (Communion), narthex (entryway), altar (table), and triduum. Triduum comes from a Latin root meaning three days.  

Triduum is the period of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. It celebrates the last days of Jesus' life, his death, and his resurrection from the dead.

The maundy of Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin word mandatum (I always remember it sounds like mandate) meaning commandment and refers to the words that Jesus says on that evening after he washes the feet of the disciples. Jesus says, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another." (John 13:34).

Jesus celebrates Communion with his disciples for the first time that night and then goes to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray.  Jesus is then arrested and Maundy Thursday becomes Good Friday. Good Friday is the day Jesus died. I have always thought it odd that it is called good, but some historians think it may have originally been called God's Friday. I like that idea because even when all of the lights are extinguished in the worship on Good Friday, the light of God still shines. It is God's Friday.

I love reading about history and words. Did you know that the word goodbye comes from a  contraction of the phrase God be with you?

The triduum continues through Holy Saturday until Easter Sunday when we celebrate the new life of Jesus the Christ. I hope that as you journey through the triduum that you will feel God's presence with you.  I find that participating in worship helps me feel that presence, so I encourage you to be a part of our worship here at White Rock UMC!

April 6, Maundy Thursday
6:00 p.m. in the garden here at White Rock UMC, off of San Saba (rain location: church Parlor)

April 7, Good Friday
noon in the sanctuary
7:00 p.m. online only

April 9, Easter
7:00 a.m. Easter Sunrise in the garden here at White Rock UMC, off of San Saba  (rain location: church Parlor)
10:50 a.m. Easter Sunday worship in the sanctuary

Hope to see you!  Kerry

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