Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Paschal Triduum

The most striking worship celebrations of the Christian church happen every year at the end of the Lenten season. There is no greater contrast between darkness and light than the eclipse and glory that were experienced by Jesus’ disciples between the Last Supper and Easter morning. For centuries, Christians have marked the progression of these events through worship. They reenact these bedrock events to honor Christ, celebrate salvation, and grow in the way of Jesus through imitation and reflection. This period of time in the Church’s calendar has traditionally been referred to as the Paschal Triduum or “The Three Days.”

"The events framed by Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his resurrection are some of the most dramatic and theologically important of the entire scriptural narrative. These days feature not only the drama of the triumphal entry, trial, last supper, and crucifixion but also Jesus’ poignant prayers and prophetic teachings. John’s gospel devotes eight of its twenty-one chapters to this week alone—reminding us of a common observation that the gospels are “passion narratives with long introductions.” The week begins with Passion/Palm Sunday and ends with the “three days” (also called the Triduum, from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Easter Day), the period during which we mark Jesus’ trial, death, and resurrection."
-from The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition.

Maundy Thursday (April 18)

"Maundy Thursday marks three key events in Jesus' last week: his washing of his disciples' feet, his institution of the Lord's Supper, and his new commandment to love one another. This service begins the Triduum, the three-day period from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Easter Day. The name "Maundy Thursday" comes from the Latin mandatum novum, referring to the "new commandment" Jesus taught his disciples (John 13:34). In other words, this is "new commandment Thursday." -from The Worship Sourcebook, 2nd Edition.

On this day, Jesus commemorated the Passover meal with his disciples, an observance of God rescuing his people from slavery in Egypt. In celebrating this observance, Jesus was pointing to the new covenant he would make with God's people, rescuing them from spiritual slavery to sin and death. Before the meal, he washed the feet of his disciples and instituted the Lord's Supper (Communion, Eucharist, Mass). In so doing, our servant King provided a means of grace and an example for us to follow. Christian participation in these practices reflects upon the new command of Jesus to, “Love each other as I have loved you.” 

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Scripture Readings
I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live...What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people...
Exodus 12:1-14
The Passover

1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Proclaim the Lord's death
until he comes

John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Christ our servant:

footwashing and meal
Collect for Maundy Thursday
"Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen." -The Book of Common Prayer
Good Friday (April 19)

Good Friday is a reminder of the darkness experienced by Christ on our behalf. Out of true death, comes true life. His death and resurrection comprise the mysteries at the very heart of the Christian faith. On this day, Christ became the, "...Paschal (Passover) Lamb of our salvation, by whose blood we have been purchased unto God as His own consecrated people, a holy nation, a royal priesthood. Christians today gather at the foot of the cross with Mary the Lord's Mother, the beloved disciple John, the repentant Mary Magdalene and her several companions, the confessing Centurion and all others who have, down through the ages...been made holy by the redeeming act of the God who loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son."

Psalm 22
Scripture Readings
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest..But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults...
Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12
The suffering servant

Hebrews 10:16-25
The way to God is opened

John 18:1 - 19:42
The Passion and death of Jesus Christ
Collect for Good Friday
"Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen." -The Book of Common Prayer
Holy Saturday (April 20)

This is officially the last day of the Lenten fast. There has been some controversy as to what exactly happened on this day, but the profound symbolism of Christ resting in the tomb while humanity waits for the resurrection runs deep in Eastern and Western Christian traditions. On this day, we wait for his resurrection and rest in prayer, by meditating on his passion, death, and descent to the dead.

Mary, the Mother of Jesus, also has been a traditional symbol connected to Holy Saturday. In Western Catholic tradition Mary represents the entire Church on Holy Saturday, "As she awaited in faith for the victorious triumph of Her Son over death on the first Holy Saturday, so we too wait with Mary on the present Holy Saturday." This prayerful waiting has been called the "Ora della Madre" or Hour of the Mother.

God does not redeem from afar. The Word descended into our humanity; the Lord descended into the depths of our suffering; Christ descended into the very realm of death itself in order to set free its captives. There is life in the midst of death because love dwells in it. Thanks be to God.

Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16
Scripture Readings
In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me...My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love...
Job 14:1-14
Hope for a tree cut down

1 Peter 4:1-8
Suffering like Christ

Matthew 27:57-66
John 19:38-42

The burial of Jesus
Collect for Holy Saturday
O God, Creator of heaven and earth:  Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the  coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen. 
-The Book of Common Prayer
Singing Psalms and Hymns
Hymns for Psalm 31, Psalm 22Psalm 116 from

Lift High the Cross | by George William Kitchin, 1887 | Leadsheet
Take Up Our Cross | by Sarah Hart, Curtis Stephen, and Marc Byrd | Leadsheet

My God, My God, Parts 1 & 2 | by The Welcome Wagon | Part 1 Leadsheet | Part 2 Leadsheet 

Come Ye Disconsolate | Arranged by Green Carpet Players | Leadsheet 

Psalm 22 | by Joel Limpic | Chord Chart

Be Not Far Off, for Grief is Near (Psalm 22) | KINGSFOLD Melody | Leadsheet 

Psalm 22 (Why Have You Forsaken Me?) | by Shane Heilman | Chord Chart

Psalm 22 (My God, My God) | by Marty Haugen | Leadsheet 

My God, My God (Psalm 22) | by Scot Crandal | Leadsheets

Psalm 31 | Music by Sarah Majorins and Words by J.C Lowry | Leadsheet

Psalm 31: Father, I Put My Life In Your Hands | by John Michael Talbot | Leadsheet

Abide With Me | by Henry Lyte and Justin Smith/Music by Justin Smith | Leadsheet

Psalm 31Psalm 22Psalm 116 Metrical Options
Music for Listening
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