Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Paschal Triduum - How long is it?

I hear and read many people talking about the Paschal (or Easter) Triduum as "Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday/the Easter Vigil."  Little do they realize that, unlike the "three days and three nights" which the Lord prophesied He would be buried, the Paschal Triduum is actually 72 hours:  three days and three nights... or rather, three nights and three days.

But, as Levar Burton would say on Reading Rainbow, you don't have to take my word for it:  ask the Church!
The Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord's Supper, is continued through Good Friday with the celebration of the passion of the Lord and Holy Saturday, to reach its summit in the Easter Vigil, and concludes with Vespers of Easter Sunday. (Paschalis Sollemnitatis 27)
Just thought I'd clear that up for you.

(By the way, is the document Paschales Solemnitatis or Paschalis Solemnitatis?  Does Solemnitatis have one l or two?  I've seen it written in various ways, although I've never seen the original Latin document.)

P.S. Thanks to Greg for correcting the spelling. It turns out the Adoremus Bulletin corrected its filename to correspond to the proper document title.

1 comment:

Greg Smisek said...

The document's Latin incipit is "Paschal_is_ sol_l_emnitatis". I don't know where the grammatically-challenged misnomers came from, but as you observed, confusion abounds, and, in fact, the actual incipit is rarely to be found online or in print (I've recently mounted a campaign to correct this.)

Note that the issuing congregation was at that time the "Congregation for Divine Worship", not the "Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments", which didn't come into existence until later that year.

One of the few correct citations online can be found in the Google Books text of CLSA's New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law [2000], p. 1435, footnote 44.

The correct name can be verified by consulting the Latin text as promulgated in Notitiae 24 (1988) pp. 81-107 (unfortunately not yet online), which begins:

"Paschalis sollemnitatis et totius Hebdomadae sanctae Ordo, a Pio XII primum instauratus inde ab annis 1951 et 1955, communiter ab omnibus Ritus Romani Ecclesiis cum gaudio receptus est."

I wish you a blessed and joyous Paschaltide.

Greg Smisek
Minneapolis, Minnesota