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Triduum liturgies celebrated at cathedral


  • Cardinal O’Malley lights the Paschal Candle from the blessed Easter Fire, symbolizing Christ as the Light of the World. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
  • Easter Vigil — Cardinal O’Malley blesses the Easter Fire to begin the Easter Vigil. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
  • Holy Thursday — Cardinal O’Malley performs the washing of the feet at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Before instituting the Eucharist at the Last Supper, Christ took the role of a servant and washed the feet of his disciples saying, “I have given you an example to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
  • Good Friday — Cardinal O’Malley venerates the cross during the celebration of the Lord’s Passion. In venerating the cross, the faithful recognize the infinite sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe
  • Easter Vigil — Adult catechumens receive the sacrament of baptism. Pilot photo/Mark Labbe

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Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley marked the Easter Triduum this year with services at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Because of ongoing renovations, Triduum liturgies were held in Our Lady's Chapel, the lower church of the cathedral.

The Triduum consists of Holy Thursday, when Christ washed the feet of his Apostles and instituted the Eucharist; Good Friday, the day of Jesus' crucifixion and death for the sins of the world; and the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night, where the Church celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead. The Easter Vigil concludes the Easter Triduum and includes the blessing of the Easter fire and lighting of the Paschal Candle and the Liturgy of the Word, which includes readings from the Old Testament highlighting salvation history, the first chanting of the Alleluia since the beginning of Lent and the Easter Gospel. Following the Liturgy of the Word, catechumens and candidates are fully received into the Church through reception of the sacraments of baptism, the Eucharist and confirmation.

The cardinal explained the importance of the Triduum and the Easter season in his annual Easter message issued on Holy Saturday, March 31.

"At Easter the Gospel proclaims the greatest truth and the greatest joy of all that Jesus is alive. He has conquered sin and death for us. It is not just a beautiful ending for the Gospel but it is a beginning for our life as his disciples," the cardinal said in his message.

"At Easter time we want to rededicate ourselves to our baptismal promises and be witnesses of his Resurrection that the joy of Easter might be reflected in the way that we treat each other, the way that we forgive each other, the way that we help each other, the way that we live our faith with joy and generosity," he added.

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