Short Reflections: Easter Triduum

Holy Thursday

‘…it’s painted with pity and love. It’s not only a loaf of bread and a flagon of wine; it’s the bread of life and the blood of Christ… it’s the daily fare of suffering men and women… It was as though… hardly knowing what he was doing, [the painter] wanted to show you that if you only have enough love, if you only have enough sympathy, out of pain and distress and unkindness, out of all the evil of the world, you can create beauty.’

from Christmas Holiday by W. Somerset Maugham

As often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes.

John 13

Good Friday

Like a sapling he grew up before us, like a root in arid ground…

Isaiah 54

Behold the wood of the cross, on which our redeemer hung. Come, let us adore the saviour of the world.

                                               Good Friday Liturgy

Holy Saturday

It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

                                                               Lamentations 3

If we enter into the silence of Holy Saturday, its bareness gives us no distractions. There is nowhere to go but inwards; into the very empty places of our own soul and imagination. Holy Saturday takes us beyond grief and mourning into the deepest purification of our faith. Like the bare altar and the empty tabernacle, this Saturday strips us of all comfort. It even strips away faith itself, leaving us so utterly naked and impotent that we can only wait.

James Hanvey SJ

Easter Vigil

This eleventh century ‘Exultet roll’ has illustrations of bees to accompany the Paschal vigil text. St. John Chrysostom wrote: The bee is… honoured… not because it labours, but because it labours for others.


On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,

accept this candle, a solemn offering,

the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,

an evening sacrifice of praise,


Easter Morning

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.

John 20

Mary leaves the tomb

her hands full of light after

touching things unseen

                                                                             [A journalist]

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