Thursday, April 13, 2017


Lent, Day 38. Maundy Thursday.

Previously: For Now, Just Live, Go Ahead and Give Up Chocolate for Lent, Homebrewing Salvation, My Easter Burden, Learning from Lenten Failures, Morning Stretches, Brushing the Knots

I sometimes wonder if I could pull off a full Triduum worship schedule.

If you're not familiar, Triduum is the fancy collective term for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Catholic, Orthodox, and some Protestant traditions give each day their own observance, since each recognizes a different part of the timeline related to Jesus' passion and crucifixion.

Today, Maundy Thursday, is the remembrance of Jesus' final night with the disciples, including the Last Supper, the washing of feet, and the new commandment to love one another.

Tomorrow, Good Friday, is the remembrance of Jesus' death.

Holy Saturday is the anticipation of the resurrection, and includes the great Easter Vigil which features several special rituals during an extended time of worship.

With few exceptions, I've been a part of churches that hold a single service that conflates Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, with Holy Saturday forgotten entirely. I haven't minded, although since I've been in ministry I've been of the opinion that it's only right to do something on Good Friday, even if just keeping the sanctuary open for people free to stop in and pray on their own.

Every Lent I consider what I would do for the full Triduum. Could I give a proper amount of energy to three services in three days, not to mention be up early for our Easter sunrise service and main worship? Could I give each the time and creativity that it needs for a meaningful experience? Would people come to all three, or just one?

There's something to be said for giving each part of the story its due. The purpose of the Triduum is to linger at table and cross and tomb; to build proper anticipation for the big celebration.

I don't know the answers because I've never given it a shot. Maybe one year I will at least to say I tried.

For now, we share bread and cup and journey through the garden to Golgotha tonight, and tomorrow all may pray as they choose. It will be what it needs to be for all who attend.

Some year, I'll try something more.