Easter Triduum at American Czestochowa
Holy Triduum celebrations at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa began with Holy Thursday’s Mass of the Lord’s Supper, continuing with Good Friday’s Liturgy of the Lord’s Passion, and then concluding with Easter Vigil on Saturday evening. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the norms published by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, all liturgies were celebrated without the people, but they were broadcasted through our media. Easter Triduum liturgies were live-streamed on our website, Facebook, YouTube channel, and other social media.
Holy Thursday is an anniversary of the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Holy Orders. The Eucharist was established during the Last Supper by our Lord Jesus Christ. The main celebrant on that Solemn Mass was Fr. Krzysztof Drybka, Prior of the Pauline Monastery in Doylestown. As disciples of the Lord, all the Pauline Fathers concelebrated together. It was a great sign of priestly unity on this special day of commemoration of the Last Supper.
Good Friday is the day on which we solemnly commemorate and reflect upon the passion and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Good Friday’s celebration invites us to solemnly reflect on the passion and death of our Lord. At the heart of Liturgy were two actions: the reading of the Passion according to Saint John and the veneration of the Cross. On Good Friday the Church does not celebrate the sacrifice of the Holy Mass but commemorates the passion and death of our Lord. The main celebrant of Good Friday’s Liturgy was Fr. Sebastian Hanks. In the evening on that day, we celebrated Stations of the Cross, led by Fr. Rafał Walczyk, and Br. Piotr Lisiecki.
On Holy Saturday, before Easter Vigil Liturgy, we had two broadcasts of the blessing of Easter Food. One was in English, and one was in Polish.
Easter Vigil celebration marks the beginning of Easter. It is an extraordinary night, transcending the greatest mystery in the world. This night, light has defeated darkness, life has defeated death, love has defeated sin, and Jesus has resurrected! Due to the pandemic, the Liturgy of the Light and the Blessing of Fire were omitted. The main celebrant of this Eucharist was Fr. Marcin Ćwierz.
Easter Sunday was different than ever before because we didn’t have Resurrection Procession due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, we all need to remember that spiritual bond that we have recieved during our Baptism cannot be broken by any kind of social distancing. As Priests, when we were at the altar, celebrating the mysteries of our salvation, we were feeling in union with the whole Church, praying with everyone and for everyone.
Fr. Maciej Karpiński OSPPE
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