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March 29 – Holy Week 2018: Triduum

Dear Friends,

Today, classes break for the remainder of Holy Week. Tonight, we begin a very special and meaningful time of year, Easter Triduum. For those not familiar with the term, Triduum marks the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. One remarkable thing about Triduum is that it is in essence one liturgy that continues over three days.

Triduum begins tonight with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, after which the Eucharist will be walked from the Chapel of St. Basil to the Art Gallery for adoration, symbolizing Christ being taken from the garden of Gethsemane after he was betrayed. The Eucharist itself, the actual body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, is seen by our Basilian Fathers as God giving us ‘strength for service.’ The best way I have heard it explained is that the Eucharist makes present the reality of Christ’s dying and rising as an event within which we are invited to participate.

Good Friday marks the passion of the Lord, and then Saturday evening brings us hope as we celebrate Easter Vigil, the longest Mass of the year. A fire outside the chapel is used to light candles that then bring light inside the chapel, the light of Christ and his resurrection. Stories of old are read in the dark, before the resurrection brings the full return of light to the sanctuary. This is the wonderful and dramatic conclusion of Triduum.

On Sunday, as Easter comes into full blossom with the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, we begin one of the happiest times of the year, Easter season. I hope the day is joyous for you and your loved ones. I look forward to seeing you back at UST next week.

In unity and peace,

Richard L. Ludwick

About the Author — Richard Ludwick

AvatarRichard L. Ludwick became the 9th president of the University of St. Thomas on July 1, 2017. He previously served as president of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, the nation’s oldest association of 31 private, nonprofit colleges and universities enrolling more than 100,000 students. In that capacity, he led strategic initiatives in public policy at the state and federal levels, spurred innovative, intercollegiate collaborations, and successfully executed multi-million dollar philanthropic campaigns.

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