Holy Thursday is the feast that marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Holy Triduum, which also includes Good Friday, Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday.
At this Mass of the Lord’s Supper Catholics remember the Passover meal, when Jesus instituted the sacrament of the holy Eucharist by sharing bread and wine with his disciples, saying, “Do this in memory of Me.”
At the end of the Holy Thursday Mass, the Eucharist is placed on a temporary “altar of repose” away from the sanctuary. It is customary for the faithful to process together to this altar and spend time in quiet prayer and adoration.
In the Roman Missal, it states: “The faithful are invited to continue adoration before the Blessed Sacrament for a suitable length of time during the night, according to circumstance.”
Therefore following Catholic Tradition, I invite you to meditate on these seven stations from the Scriptures about Jesus from the garden to the time he began the journey to Calvary with the Cross. This will prepare you spiritually for a fruitful celebration of the Easter Triduum.
The seven stations consist of: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 39-46), Jesus bound and taken before Annas (John 18: 19-22), Jesus taken before the High Priest, Caiaphas (Matthew 26: 63-65), Jesus taken before Pilate (John 18, 35-37), Jesus taken before Herod (Luke 23: 8-9; 11), Jesus taken before Pilate again (Matthew 27: 22-26) and Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to his crucifixion (Matthew 27: 27-31).
Remember to find time and pray after Mass on Holy Thursday.
Good Friday is a day of fasting within the Church. Traditionally, there is no Mass and no celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday. A liturgy may still be performed and communion, if taken, comes from hosts consecrated on Holy Thursday. Baptism, penance, and anointing of the sick may be performed, but only in unusual circumstances. Church bells are silent. Altars are left bare.
The solemn, muted atmosphere is preserved until the Easter Vigil.
On this day the Church abstains strictly from the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass.
Holy Communion may only be given in the form of Viaticum.
The celebration of marriages is forbidden, as also the celebration of other sacraments, except those of Penance and the Anointing of the Sick.
The order for the Easter Vigil
• after the service of light and the Easter Proclamation (which is the first part of the Vigil),
• Holy Church meditates on the wonderful works which the Lord God wrought for his people from the earliest times (the second part or Liturgy of the Word),
• to the moment when, together with those new members reborn in Baptism (third part),
• she is called to the table prepared by the Lord for his Church—the commemoration of his death and resurrection—until he comes (fourth part).
Easter is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It is celebrated on Sunday, and marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, the last day of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday), and is the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year.
Since Easter represents the fulfillment of God’s promises to mankind, it is the most important holiday on the Christian calendar.