PORTLAND — Maine parishes will host Masses and services to celebrate the Easter Triduum, the culmination of Holy Week, on April 6-9. The Triduum, the summit of the liturgical year, is from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday as it unfolds the unity of Christ’s paschal mystery. The liturgical services that take place during the Triduum are Holy Thursday (Mass of the Lord’s Supper), Good Friday (Celebration of the Lord’s Passion), Easter Vigil Mass, and Easter Sunday (Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord). The links to Mass and service times at all Maine parishes are listed below with the corresponding day.
Holy Thursday, April 6
On Holy Thursday, we remember the Last Supper, during which Jesus, loving those who were his own in the world even to the end, offered his Body and Blood to the Father under the appearance of bread and wine, gave them to the apostles to eat and drink, then enjoined the apostles and their successors in the priesthood to offer them in turn. Holy Thursday is a celebration of Christ’s gift of the holy Eucharist, his true Body and Blood, and the gift of the Mass to the Church.
Good Friday, April 7
On Good Friday, we recall Christ’s passion and death. From the earliest days of Christianity, no Mass has been celebrated on Good Friday, the only day of the year on which that occurs. Instead, the faithful gather for a special liturgy focusing on the cross to commemorate the saving passion, crucifixion, and death of Jesus. Good Friday is a time to reflect on our own sinfulness and need for repentance, and it is a day in which, amid the sorrow, we show our appreciation for Christ’s loving sacrifice. Good Friday is a day of both fast and abstinence.
Easter Vigil/Holy Saturday, April 8
The Missale Romanum reminds us that the Easter Vigil is the “mother of all vigils,” the “greatest and most noble of all solemnities.” On this night, the Church keeps watch, celebrating the resurrection of Christ in the sacraments and awaiting his return in glory. It is the turning point of the Triduum, the Passover of the new covenant, which marks Christ’s passage from death to life.
Easter Sunday, April 9
The Easter Sunday Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord is celebrated with great joy and music. “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad!” The tomb is empty, death has been conquered for all time. We renew our baptismal promises and celebrate the life that comes with believing in the Risen Lord!
Bishop Deeley will preside at the Holy Thursday Celebration of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (7 p.m.), the Celebration of Our Lord’s Passion on Good Friday (7 p.m.), the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday (8 p.m.), and the celebration of the Mass of the Resurrection of the Lord on Easter Sunday (10 a.m.). All of those Masses and services are set for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland and will also be livestreamed at www.portlandcatholic.org/livestreamed-liturgies.
A special Holy Week section includes Mass times and locations at all Maine parishes, listings of parish events, daily prayers and reflections, and many other resources. In addition, stories from many Masses and services and special messages throughout Holy Week will be posted on the diocesan website, the diocesan Facebook page, the diocesan Twitter page, the diocesan Instagram page, and on Bishop Deeley’s personal social media pages on Twitter and Instagram.