Readings of the Easter Triduum

April 18, 2011

The Easter Triduum begins with the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, elevates through the Easter Vigil and ends with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. “Triduum” is Latin for “a three-day period.” The readings throughout Holy Week offer some of the most vivid, remarkable and transformative imagery of the Liturgical year. Through the readings of the Holy Week Masses, we relive the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In celebration of the Easter Triduum, the Texas Catholic Herald offers the readings, highlighting the Gospel, or a portion of it, for each of these three high holy days. During these three days, Catholics celebrate the central mystery of faith: the passion and death of Jesus Christ.

Holy Thursday, April 21

On Holy Thursday, Catholics imitate Jesus in the washing of the feet during Mass. This ritual is a reminder of the baptismal commitment to serve one another as Christ served us.

Reading 1 Ex 12’1-8, 11-14 
Reading 2 1 Cor 11:23-26

Gospel Jn 13:1-15
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come
to pass from this world to the Father.
He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.
The devil had already induced Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, to hand him over.
So, during supper, 
fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power 
and that he had come from God and was returning to God, 
he rose from supper and took off his outer garments.
He took a towel and tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin 
and began to wash the disciples’ feet 
and dry them with the towel around his waist.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, 
“Master, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him,
“What I am doing, you do not understand now,
but you will understand later.”
Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him, 
“Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.”
Simon Peter said to him, 
“Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.”
Jesus said to him, 
“Whoever has bathed has no need except to have his feet washed,
for he is clean all over; 
so you are clean, but not all.”
For he knew who would betray him;
for this reason, he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

So when he had washed their feet 
and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, 
he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?
You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, 
you ought to wash one another’s feet.
I have given you a model to follow, 
so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

Good Friday, April 22

On Good Friday, Catholics venerate the cross of Christ. Touching, kneeling or kissing the cross during the Good Friday Liturgy challenges believers to accept the cross as the path to new life.

Reading 1 Is 52:13-53:12
Reading 2 Heb 4:14-16, 5:7-9

Gospel Jn 18:1-19:42
… So they took Jesus, and, carrying the cross himself, 
he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, 
in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, 
one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross.
It read,
“Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews.”
Now many of the Jews read this inscription, 
because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; 
and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, 
“Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’
but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews’.”
Pilate answered,
“What I have written, I have written.”

Holy Saturday, April 23

On Holy Saturday, Catholics keep vigil, “waiting” for Christ to rise from the tomb. At the Easter Vigil, the Church welcomes new members and the faithful witness these new members’ Baptisms and Confirmations. During the Holy Saturday Liturgy, already-baptized Catholics renew their Baptismal promises as they celebrate the resurrection of the Lord. 

Reading 1 Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Reading 2 1 Cor 11:23-26

Gospel Mt 28:1-10
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning,
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.
And behold, there was a great earthquake; 
for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, 
approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.
His appearance was like lightning
and his clothing was white as snow.
The guards were shaken with fear of him
and became like dead men.
Then the angel said to the women in reply,
“Do not be afraid!
I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said.
Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples,
‘He has been raised from the dead, 
and he is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him.’
Behold, I have told you.”
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, 
fearful yet overjoyed,
and ran to announce this to his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them on their way and greeted them.
They approached, embraced his feet, and did him homage.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid.
Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee,
and there they will see me.”

Easter Sunday, April 24, The Mass of Easter Day

On Easter Sunday, Catholics celebrate that Christ is risen! Alleluia!

Reading 1 Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
Reading 2 Col 3:1-4 

Gospel Jn 20:1-9
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.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter 
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, 
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb, 
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter 
and arrived at the tomb first; 
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him, 
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, 
and the cloth that had covered his head, 
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in, 
the one who had arrived at the tomb first, 
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture 
that he had to rise from the dead.