Our annual celebration of Easter lasts for several days, and takes place at Gwinwood Christian Camp and Conference Center (map below). For details on the recently concluded 2018 celebration, click here. Watch this space for details on the 2019 celebration.
72 Hours of Easter: Description of the Four Major Rites
The 72 Hours of Easter, also known as the Easter Triduum, is one liturgy, one mass, with four distinct rites. Triduum means three days (72 Hours). According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery.” One day that just happens to have three sunsets and three sunrises.
Thursday evening’s Liturgy of Fire and Foot Washing welcomes us to the beginning of Easter. We begin by lighting the Easter fire, singing the Gloria and reading the traditional scriptures which tell the stories of Passover and of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. At this liturgy, we have the opportunity to wash each other’s feet.
Friday evening our Liturgy of The Veneration of the Cross and Reading of the Passion continues with the traditional readings of the Suffering Servant and St. John’s Passion account, followed by the Nine Universal Prayers for the world. At this liturgy, we venerate the cross, which represents the tensions and struggles of our real lives as individuals and as communities. The cross that symbolizes our deep desire to move towards unity in the midst of our diversity—to become Shalom.
As Saturday evening’s Liturgy of Light and Word begins, we once again light the Easter fire, from which we light the Pascal Candle and our individual candles. After the Exultet is sung, we listen to the seven traditional scripture stories of salvation history and God’s love for all.
On Sunday morning, Easter reaches its climax with joyous Alleluias as we continue our celebration with The Liturgy of Water, Oil and Eucharist. We welcome our ancestors in faith as we sing the Litany of Saints. We hear the story of Jesus’ resurrection and appearance to Mary of Magdala, and we renew our Baptismal promises with word, water, and oil. We celebrate Eucharist and receive what we are, the Body of Christ.