On the Proper Celebration of the Paschal Triduum

On the Proper Celebration of the Paschal Triduum
(P.No. DCL-006-11)
Christ the paschal victim is the center and end point of the celebration of the paschal Triduum. These three days that is preceded by the season of lent and holy week is the summit of the liturgical year. Knowing its importance we are therefore issuing these reminders and suggestions that will contribute for a meaningful celebration of the greatest feast in the liturgical year.

Lent is the period of time when the church prepares for the journey towards the joy of Easter. In the past Ash Wednesday was preceded by practices that are incompatible to the demands of the Gospel. Mardigras and the celebration of carnivale festivals were held with so much excess immorality. Lenten practices and the celebration of Holy week are not only annual events, they are moments of spiritual transformation and rejuvenation for all the faithful.

In order that our celebrations to be truly meaningful, much effort must be given to its preparation. We are to steadfastly observe the prescriptions of the Roman Sacramentary and the regulations that are given in these guidelines. 
  1. This year we urge all parishes that the Tuesday before ash Wednesday known as Aleluia or Shrove Tuesday, be celebrated with the liturgical rite of the burning of palms to inform and form the people regarding the importance of preparing well for the season of lent. The rite may be celebrated outside or within the Eucharistic celebration.
  2. The use of the rite of penitential services in our parishes during the “Kumpisalang Bayan” will be of great help in order to dispose your parishioners before they avail of the sacrament of reconciliation.
  3. As shepherds of the flock you are reminded to inform them of the obligation regarding the church law on fasting and abstinence.
  4. Flowers instrumental music and other percussion instruments are forbidden during the season of lent. Please refer to the notes on the ordo.
  5. For the traditional Visita Iglesia, it must be clarified that the Visita Iglesia is really meant for the visitation of the Blessed Sacrament during Holy Thursday night and not the celebration of the stations of the cross in different places and parishes. Thus the parish station of the cross shall be termed “parish pilgrimage.” You may use the rites provided during the Jubilee year on the blessing of pilgrims.
  6. The celebration of the blessing of palms must be celebrated before and not after the mass of Palm Sunday. Changing the rite would damage the nature and meaning of the celebration. Announcements must be made weeks before the celebration in order to avoid people coming late for the celebration of mass during Palm Sunday.
  7. During the reading of the Lord’s passion no greeting must be made as prescribed by the sacramentary. Please instruct your lectors to follow the characters of the reading of the passion (male lectors should perform the role of male characters in the gospel.)
  8. Before the mass of the Lord’s Supper the tabernacle if it is located in the sanctuary should be entirely empty to indicate the fact that the Eucharist comes from the celebration and not from the reservation.
  9. The mass of the Lord’s Supper and even the celebration of the veneration of the cross on Good Friday does not have a final blessing due to the fact that these rites are actually one continuous celebration, ending with the Easter blessing with the double alleluia.
  10. The place of adoration after the mass of the Lord’s Supper should be held in a separate chapel within the church or if there is no existing chapel the place of adoration must be set up at the side altar at the right side of the church. It is totally wrong to set up the place of reposition within the sanctuary itself or to use the a monstrance for the vigil.
  11. The adoration time must cease at 12 midnight and there must never be a sort of benediction done at the end. People must be encouraged during this time to pray to the Eucharistic Lord and not the traditional stations of the cross for it has its proper place during Good Friday and other days of lent.
  12. There is already an existing exultet tune that can be easily used during the Easter vigil rites. It may be requested from the liturgical commission on sacred music.
  13. All parishes are encouraged not to omit the baptism and confirmation of converts on the night of the Easter vigil.

May these reminders help us in preparing our people to enter the full joy of Easter and contemplate the face of Christ-the redeemer of man.       

Rev. Fr. Christian Edward L. Abao
Director, Diocesan Commission on Liturgy

Most Rev. Leo M. Drona SDB, DD
Bishop of San Pablo

Source: Diocese of San Pablo