The Triduum begins this week, and so does my anxiety triple threat.
I’m a highly driven person and a perfectionist by nature. It’s the Triduum, the most solemn and holy three days in Catholic Culture. I’m supposed to be at church.
We’ve got the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday. On Good Friday, there’s the Veneration of the Cross. The Easter Vigil on Saturday brings new members of the church into the fullness of redemption.
I should be there.
Except I’m a mom.
The truth is, each of these events is a beautiful opportunity for grace — grace I want my children to receive.
The Triduum events are packed with faithful Catholics.
They are not short.
They begin at meltdown-thirty every night.
While I long to take my whole family I know I’m asking for disaster — at least at this point in my life. Yes, it’s just a season, but I can’t help but feel I’m failing. I should be better at this Liturgical Living thing, right?
We don’t have to go to the parish to observe the Easter Triduum. We can do it from home.
3 Beautiful Ways to Honor the Triduum at Home (With Kids!)
Play barefoot in the grass (in a space free of ouchies, of course). When the kids are good and dirty and ready for a break, get their muddy footprints on white paper and sit down to read John 13:1-15. Talk about the way Jesus served his disciples out of love, then wash the dirt from your children’s feet. Let them do the same for you, and when they are done, draw outlines of your feet on clean white paper. Decorate both sets of footprints and hang them up.
Walk the Stations of the Cross outside. Gather wildflowers and leaves to lay by your family crucifix, then draw pictures and write letters to Jesus during lunch. At 3 PM, gather at the crucifix to pray a decade of the Rosary. Read your letters to Jesus as you sit at the foot of his cross.
Continue the spirit of Good Friday’s fast. While fast and abstinence are optional, it’s an excellent opportunity to talk about the virtue of patience. Spend quiet time together as a family, reading books and playing board games. After dinner, gather as a family to make resurrection cookies. Culminate the day with your own candlelight vigil: at sunset, light candles as you say your evening prayers.
If you’re at a place in life where your family can observe Triduum events at your parish, go. Soak up the physical beauty of our extended Body of Christ. But if circumstances keep you from participating at the parish, you have not failed your family or your Church. In fact, you are sustaining it. Your calling is strongest at home:
“Thus the little domestic Church, like the greater Church, needs to be constantly and intensely evangelized: hence its duty regarding permanent education in the faith…the family, like the Church, ought to be a place where the Gospel is transmitted and from which the Gospel radiates…the future of evangelization depends in great part on the Church of the home.” – St. John Paul II
Like all things, fellow mamas, this time is just a season. Embrace it at home with your children, as our Lord embraces you.
How do you handle the Triduum with little ones?
Copyright 2018 Ginny Kochis