Friday, April 22, 2011

Triduum horarium

Things are a little different around here during the Holy Triduum. It is a precious time that breaks away from the normal monastic routine. Primarily, it is a time when things slow down in the sense that the world views such things. However, our prayer, reflection, silence, self-denial, liturgical celebrations, and other community activities intensify dramatically. Strangely, it is both spiritually restful and physically exhausting!

Below is the modified horarium (or daily monastic schedule) we observe here in the monastery for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. As you can see, on Friday and Saturday, we begin a little later than normal (instead of 5:30 a.m.), but spend a lot more time in church. Today--Friday--is particularly intense. Inbetween the times listed, individual chores and responsibilities are taken care of (some, like me, may even still be attempting to finish up papers for class!). For those who are musicians or singers (which I am not), there is even more to do because of all the preparation that must occur prior to the liturgies.

The liturgical celebrations are quite beautiful and even stirring. Occasionally, there are even emotional moments for some--whether monks, guests, students, or retreatants. It is a blessed time to enter more fully into the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so that we may be transformed by the mysteries we celebrate and live them more genuinely the rest of the year.

I am deeply grateful to be granted the privilege--and responsibility--of observing the Triduum in this fashion each year in the monastery.

A most blessed Triduum and Happy Easter to all!

Holy Thursday of the Lord's Supper
+ 5:30 a.m -- Vigils and Lauds
+Noon -- Midday Office, followed by lunch (casual)
+1:30 p.m. -- End of recreation until Easter; house silence observed
+5 p.m. -- Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper (during which the Abbot washes the feet of 12 monks, guests, students, or retreatants)
+7 p.m. -- Holy Thursday Dinner (shared with all guests)

Good Friday of the Lord's Passion and Death
+6:30-7:15 a.m. -- Breakfast
+7:15 a.m. -- Vigils and Lauds
+ Noon --Midday Office, followed by lunch (formal, silence, table reading)
+3 p.m. -- Liturgy of the Passion and Death of the Lord
+5:15 p.m. -- Chapter of Faults (monks only: this is where we openly confess our public faults and weaknesses--NOT sins--and ask for the community's prayers.)
+ 6 p.m. -- Supper (formal, silence, table reading)
+7 p.m. -- Compline

Holy Saturday of the Lord's Rest
+6:30-7:15 a.m. -- Breakfast
+7:15 a.m. -- Vigils and Lauds
+ Noon --Midday Office, followed by lunch (formal, silence, table reading)
+5 p.m. -- Vespers
+6 p.m. -- Supper (formal, silence, table reading)

Easter Sunday of the Lord's Resurrection
+3 a.m. -- Easter Vigil and Lauds/Eucharist (ending approximately 6 a.m.)
+Recreation after Lauds/Breakfast 45 minutes after Lauds
+11:30 a.m. -- Midday Office, followed by community social
+12:30 a.m. -- Dinner (No table reading, talking allowed)
+MORE NAP TIME!!! (or whatever)
+5 p.m. -- Vespers, followed by buffet supper (casual)
+7 p.m. -- Compline


Tim Herrmann said...

The triduum does sound "spiritually restful and physically exhausting". I wanted to visit this year for a day or two, but it didn't work out. I hope to visit in the next few months to do some prayer and work.

Br. Francis de Sales Wagner said...

Happy Easter, Tim!

Br. Francis