The Three Days – The Paschal Mystery

The Three Days (The Paschal Triduum)

Celebrating the Cross and Resurrection

Our Worship Services in 2017

7:00 pm Thursday, April 13 – The Maundy Thursday liturgy begins the three days.

2:00 pm Friday, April 14 – The Good Friday liturgy meditates on the mystery of the cross and prays for the world

7:00 pm Friday, April 14 – A Good Friday Tenebrae listens to the seven last words of Christ.

6:30 pm Saturday, April 15 – The Great Vigil of Easter walks from darkness into light, death into life.

A personal experience of “The Three Days”

From Pastor Bonde

I was in seminary when a friend – a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota – took me to my first Maundy Thursday service where they washed feet.  It was an Episcopal church, I believe, on or near the UM campus.  It was beautiful, with the chairs arranged in a square pattern around a great open space, with the altar up the steps on the chancel.

When the priest took the bowl and started to walk down into the community, and the people in front of me began to take off their shoes, I got a little panicky.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do – and I wasn’t prepared to have my feet washed.  Fortunately, I was in the second row and the symbolic action was performed with those in the first row.

The first time I performed the footwashing, I was now the pastor in the inner city of Detroit.  Among those whose feet I washed was a young African American child from our neighborhood and an elderly woman who had worshipped there when church was still said in Norwegian.  There was a young, white upwardly mobile urban professional and a young African American man whose possibilities were considerably more limited.  It was a very profound experience for me.  All these were God’s children, Jesus’ disciples, for whom he bent and died.  I trembled a bit at the honor and weight of giving visible expression to that truth.

My first Easter Vigil was also in Detroit.  Several congregations went together for the service.  We built the fire in the gymnasium (this was Michigan and still winter!) and shuffled through the darkness down a long narrow hallway, following the light of that one candle that was Christ the light of the world.  The journey of that service from darkness into light, from Lent into Easter, from death into life was dramatic.  And, with a largely African American crowd, all the echoes of the Passover journey from slavery into freedom made that night exceptionally profound.

It was there in Detroit, among people whose world was poor and cold and barred, that I truly came to understand the incredible power of this three-day journey through betrayal, arrest, torture, denial, taunting, dying and rising. It was this people’s journey.  They knew the power of death, and they knew also the joy and the dancing and the song and the life of the empty tomb.

But these three days represent ever person’s journey.  It is our human journey.  For we have all been betrayed, abandoned, hungry, afraid, grieving and hopeless.  And there we have been met by the risen lord, showing his hands and bidding us enter into his life.

We invite you to enter in to the profound drama and deep spiritual experience of these three days.