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What Is the Easter Triduum?

Learn more about the final days of Lent

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Pope Francis Leads Chrism Mass in the Vatican Basilica
Dan Kitwood / Staff/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Definition: The Easter Triduum (sometimes also referred to as the Paschal Triduum) is the proper name for the liturgical season that concludes Lent and introduces us to the joy of the Easter season. Starting with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday, continuing through the Good Friday service and Holy Saturday, and concluding with vespers (evening prayer) on Easter Sunday, the Easter Triduum marks the most significant events of Holy Week (also known as Passiontide).

The Easter Triduum is often commonly referred to simply as the Triduum (with a capital T). However, a triduum is simply any three-day period of prayer, recalling the three days that Christ spent in the tomb.

Encompassing the final three days of the discipline of Lent, the Easter Triduum has traditionally been observed with even stricter fasting and abstinence, as well as prayer and almsgiving. Since 1956, however, the Paschal Triduum has been regarded as its own liturgical season, and thus liturgically Lent ends before the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. (For more details, see When Does Lent End?)

The Days of the Easter Triduum:
 Holy Thursday
 Good Friday
 Holy Saturday

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Pronunciation: ˈēstər ˈtrɪdjʊəm

Also Known As: Triduum (when capped), Paschal Triduum, Holy Triduum

Common Misspellings: Easter Tridium, Easter Tridum, Easter Triddum

Examples: "The three days before Easter are known as the Easter Triduum."

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