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Triduum - Definition of Triduum


Roman Catholic monks of the Order of Saint Benedict singing Vespers on Holy Saturday at St. Mary's Abbey in Morristown, New Jersey.
John Stephen Dwyer/Wikimedia Commons
Definition: A triduum is a three-day period of prayer, usually in preparation for an important feast or in celebration of that feast. Triduums recall the three days that Christ spent in the tomb, from Good Friday until Easter Sunday.

When capitalized, Triduum most often refers to the Paschal Triduum (also known as the Holy Triduum or Easter Triduum), the final three days of Lent and Holy Week and thus the last three days before Easter Sunday. The Paschal Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord's Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday and continues until the start of the Easter Vigil on the evening of Holy Saturday.

While the discipline of Lent (prayer, fasting and abstinence, and almsgiving) continues during the Paschal Triduum, since 1956 the Paschal Triduum has been regarded as its own liturgical season. (For more details, see When Does Lent End?)

The Days of the Paschal Triduum:

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Pronunciation: tri-doo-oom
Also Known As: (When capped) Paschal Triduum, Holy Triduum, Easter Triduum
Common Misspellings: tridium, tridum, triddum
"The three days before Easter 2011 are known as the Paschal Triduum."
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