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The word triduum means "three days" in Latin. In the language of the Roman Catholic Church a triduum is a three-day period of prayer and worship during which worshipers give thanks to God for help received, ask for God's favor and assistance, honor religious festivals, or commemorate important events. The most important regularly occurring triduum of the year precedes and includes Easter Sunday and is known as the Easter, or Holy, Triduum. During these three days, which begin on the evening of Maundy Thursday and last through evening on Easter Sunday, numerous church services and devotional exercises focus worshipers' attention on Jesus' death and resurrection (see also Easter Vigil; Epitaphios; Good Friday; Holy Saturday; Holy Sepulchre; Maundy Thursday; Passion Play; Royal Hours; Stations of the Cross; Sunrise Service; Tenebrae; Three Hours; Veneration of the Cross).

The Easter Triduum was once known as "the still days." This nickname can be traced back to eighth-century England. One religious writer of the time attributes the name to the notion that Jesus lay "still" in the grave between his death and resurrection. In medieval times this name might also call to mind the fact that all commerce came to a halt during the Triduum, as people devoted these three days to worship, prayer, and celebration. As far back as the eighth century Roman Catholic custom called for the silencing or "stilling" of bells at the start of the Easter Triduum. The harsh cracks of wooden clappers replaced the ringing church bells that usually announced the beginning and end of religious services. Inquisitive children who wondered what had happened to the church bells were sometimes told that they had flown away to Rome to visit the pope. Church bells boomed out again during the late-night Easter Vigil service on Holy Saturday, when the prohibition on bell ringing was lifted.

Further Reading

Monti, James. The Week of Salvation. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publications, 1993. Mulhern, P. "Triduum." In New Catholic Encyclopedia. Volume 14. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967. Niemann, Paul J. The Lent, Triduum, and Easter Answer Book. San Jose, CA: Resource Publications, 1998.
References in periodicals archive ?
With this gift, he instituted a mysterious oneness in time between the Easter Triduum and the Church's life through the centuries.
What pedagogical value does this conclusion have: anticipation and concentration of the Easter Triduum in the gift of the Eucharist?
Mahony's celebration of the Mass of the Lord's Supper marked the end of the Lenten season and the start of the Easter Triduum - the three days leading up to Easter.
We hold in faith that the sacramental celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus during the Easter Triduum moves us to repent, to seek God's mercy and obtain forgiveness.
As I write, the Easter triduum, the time from sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter Day, is only hours away.
The reform of the Easter triduum that began with Plus XII and continued with the liturgical changes during and after Vatican II was, among other things, an attempt to redress the balance.
For the Easter Triduum comes this classic quote from German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, executed by Nazis in the Flossenburg concentration camp on April 9, 1945: "Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the Cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.
Anscar Chupungco, photographer Noli Yamsuan, design and layout artist Pie David and editorial coordinator Peachy Yamsuan set out to produce a "little book" on the "Holy Week and Easter Triduum.
Perhaps it is because, Father Anscar volunteers, the Holy Week (liturgically, from Palm Sunday to Holy Thursday) and the Easter Triduum (from Good Friday to the evening prayer of Easter Sunday) are observed as the week "when Christ accomplished the promise of salvation prefigured by the Old Testament.
The launch of "Holy Week and the Easter Triduum," with Cardinal Rosales as guest of honor, will be held tomorrow, March 23, starting with vespers at 4:30 p.
The Pope washed the feet of 12 juveniles, 10 boys and two girls, detained at the Casal del Marmo Penitential Institute for Minors, where he celebrated the traditional "Coena Domini"-the Lord's Supper-Mass, the first of the Easter Triduum.