The following information has been sent and made available for several weeks via the Diocesan Liturgical Calendar and the Liturgical Advisory for Lent and Easter, both issued by the Office of Liturgy. However, we feel it necessary to reiterate some basic elements of the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum:
- Thursday of the Lord’s Supper
- Friday of the Passion of the Lord
- The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
- Mass during the Day
The celebrations of the Sacred Triduum are to be carried out in cathedral and parochial churches and only in those churches in which they can be performed with dignity, that is, with a good attendance of the faithful, an appropriate number of ministers, and the means to sing a least some of the parts.
Consequently, it is desirable that small communities, associations, and special groups of various kinds join together in these churches to carry out the sacred celebrations in a more noble manner. (Roman Missal)
Thursday of the Lord’s Supper
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated in the evening…Where a pastoral reason requires it, the local Ordinary may permit another Mass to be celebrated in churches and oratories in the evening and, in case of genuine necessity, even in the morning, but only for the faithful who are in no way able to participate in the evening Mass. Care should, nevertheless, be taken that celebrations of this sort do not take place for the advantage of private persons or special small groups, and do not prejudice the evening Mass. (Roman Missal)
In the Diocese of Orlando, permission is not granted to celebrate an additional Mass other than the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper (in the evening) without the direct permission of the Bishop and for good cause in keeping with the above rubric.
Friday of the Passion of the Lord
On this and the following day, by a most ancient tradition, the Church does not celebrate the Sacraments at all, except for Penance and the Anointing of the Sick…On the afternoon of this day, about three o’clock (unless a later hour is chosen for a pastoral reason), there takes place the celebration of the Lord’s Passion consisting of three parts, namely, the Liturgy of the Word, the Adoration of the Cross, and Holy Communion.
In the United States, if the size or nature of a parish or other community indicates the pastoral need for an additional liturgical service, the Diocesan Bishop may permit the service to be repeated later. This liturgy by its very nature may not, however, be celebrated in the absence of a Priest. (Roman Missal)
In the Diocese of Orlando permission is given by the Bishop to celebrate an additional liturgical service subsequent to the afternoon liturgy.
The Easter Vigil in the Holy Night
The entire celebration of the Easter Vigil must take place during the night, so that it begins after nightfall and ends before daybreak on the Sunday. (Roman Missal)
In the Diocese of Orlando “during the night” and “after nightfall” is to be interpreted as after 8:00 pm. No mass may be celebrated before the Easter Vigil. This rule of celebrating the Easter Vigil at night is to be taken according to its strictest sense. The Easter Vigil is not to be celebrated at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Sunday Masses. (C.f. ORDO)
Mass during the Day
On Easter Sunday, at Masses with a congregation, the rite of the renewal of Baptismal promises, used at the Easter Vigil, may take the place of the Creed after the homily. The Easter Triduum ends with the conclusion of Evening Prayer. (ORDO)
Replacing the Creed with the renewal of Baptismal promises is an option that can be used only on Easter Sunday. Using this ritual from the Vigil is an appropriate way for those who are not able to attend the Easter Vigil to enter into the Baptismal character of Easter.