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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.
Encyclopedia of Easter, Carnival, and Lent, 1st ed. © Omnigraphics, Inc. 2002
References in periodicals archive ?
Recollection, reflection, celebration and triumph: These are what make the Holy Week and Easter Triduum .
By the time you read this, the triduum will be replaced by the Easter season, otherwise called Eastertide or Paschal time.
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.m.
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DESCRIPTION: April 1-4 "Holy Week Triduum" with Ed Quinnan, SJ; April 30-May 2 "Cup of My Life: A Sacred Vessel in All Seasons" with Marilyn Nash, MA and Katie Pinard, MA; June7-10 "Mini Silent Directed & Focusing Directed Retreat" with Mary Horgan, SP, MDiv and Ruth McGoldrick, SP, MRE; June 14-20 "6-Day Silent Directed Retreat" with Catherine Hannigan, PBVM, MA and Virginia Sheehan, SND, MA; June 28-July 5 "7-Day Silent Directed Retreat" with Terrence Devino, SJ, MDiv and Lilyan Fraher, RSM; July 9-11 "To Be Moved With Compassion: A Weekend Guided Silent Retreat" with Rev.
The combined celebrations are called the Paschal Triduum. Paschal refers to the Paschal Lamb that was central to the Jewish feast of Passover.
We have waited and prepared ourselves spiritually to celebrate the Paschal Triduum - the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But the days of Lent all take us toward the Sacred Triduum, and the Triduum to the cross, and the cross to the darkest and most desperate image of death one can imagine.
That brings us to Holy Thursday when we begin the Triduum, the three holiest days of the year: Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.
Triduum of Masses in honor of the Immaculate Conception will be on Dec.
As we enter the Sacred Triduum, the three most holy days of the church's liturgical year, we naturally think sequentially.