On this day, when Christ our paschal Lamb was sacrificed, the Church contemplates and adores the Cross of her Lord and Spouse, commemorating her own coming forth from the side of Christ as he slept on the Cross, interceding for the salvation of the world. The Celebration of the Lord's Passion is to take place in the afternoon, at round about 3pm. The cross is shown to the people and proffered for adoration. (Ref. Ordo, 2018-2019, Year C, pg 46).
With this Mass, celebrated on the evening of Holy Thursday, the Church inaugurates the sacred Paschal Triduum, aims at recalling that Last Supper, when the Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, loving those who were his own in the world until the very end, offered his Body and Blood under the species of bread and wine to God and under these symbols, gave them to his Apostles that they might consume them, and commandered them and their successors in the priesthood to offer them. (Ref. Ordo, 2018-2019, Year C, pg 44).
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By a most ancient tradition, this night is dedicated to the Lord. and the Vigil celebratated during it, commemorating that holy night when the Lord rose from the dead, is regarded as the 'Mother of all holy vigils'. For in this night, the Church awaits in vigil the Resurrection of the Lord, and celebrates it with the sacraments of Christian initiation. (Ref. Ordo, 2018-2019, Year C, pg 48).
Evening of 18 April - Evening of 21 April
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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 (Paschal) 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.. (Ref. Catholic Online).
The Paschal Triduum is the period of three days that begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy or Holy Thursday, reaches its high point in the Easter Vigil, and closes with evening prayer on Easter Sunday. It recalls the passion, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus as portrayed in the canonical Gospels. Hence this period from sundown on Holy Thursday to sundown on Easter Sunday is considered the most solemn part of the liturgical year.
The Paschal Triduum is known as the "Paschal Mystery" because it is the ultimate fulfillment of the ancient Jewish Passover (or Pasch), which itself was a recollection of how God brought the Jews out of their slavery in Egypt. The spotless lamb was slaughtered at the Passover meal and consumed, and that night the destroying angel "passed over" the homes marked with the blood of the Passover Lamb, and those covered by the Blood were saved. This was the Old Testament prefigurement of Jesus' work at the Last Supper?where he inserted himself as the Paschal Lamb?and Calvary, where the sacrifice was offered to save us from our slavery to sin. With the Holy Eucharist, we consume the victim that died for our sins.
The Paschal Mystery is, therefore, God's plan of redemption for the fallen human race through the Passion, death, and resurrection of God-man, Jesus Christ. It is one marvelous event stretched out over three days.