When Do You Dismiss during Triduum?

3 thoughts on “When Do You Dismiss during Triduum?”

  1. We are nothing if not a Church of full disclosure! Our Liturgies are open for all to see, for all Catholics and non-Catholics, to witness. There are no secret rooms, or “members only” areas in our Churches. Anyone can walk in off the street and experience our Liturgies and be welcomed. This is one of the beauties of our faith… that we have nothing to hide… that we want you to come in.

    For many catechumens, this “open door policy” is how they got their first experience of our faith, so to even suggest that they not participate as fully as they can in the Triduum, including the Easter Vigil, seems counter-intuitive. For those that think experiencing the Easter Vigil before a catechumen is ready to be received themselves would take away from the experience, I only need to point to the Sacrament of Marriage. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced several weddings before they experience their own. And yet, that prior experience does not diminish their own celebration. In fact, it tends to enhance it. It is now their turn… their previous experience serves as a guide, but now they are personally involved. It becomes both familiar and new (like every Mass we celebrate).

    For many years I have been encouraging our catechumens to attend the Easter Vigil. Not only does it give them an orientation to the celebration that no class-room exercise or rehearsal could ever give, but in a year-round/personalized process where all the catechumens are in sessions together, it allows them to support their brothers and sisters with whom they have shared part of their journey, and build anticipation for their own baptism to come.

    1. I totally agree. In our parish some have come to the faith by stopping in ” to see” and kept coming until they notified the Office, or were asked by the pastor if they wanted to “receive Communion”. Our parish is small enough that strangers are noticed. The pastor sees repeated Mass attendance as one major proof that their call is authentic. At that point formal instruction begins. Every person and situation is different so some are received at the Easter Vigil, especially if unbaptized, and others at different times of the year. Mass, and especially Eucharist is what draws them. Christ draws them. What a joy to walk with them!

  2. I like your suggestion for inviting the ongoing catechumens to not even attend the Easter Vigil, however, I think that for a) for the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday we’re not warranted to introduce something that isn’t already there, namely, an additional dismissal. Note that there isn’t even an dismissal of the faithful at the Holy Thursday Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and the Good Friday Celebration of the Passion of the Lord. And, b) as to the dismissal of the Elect, I have a thought we can explore in more depth later that, apart from the First, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Sundays of Lent when the Elect are dismissed following the celebration of the Scrutinies that we ought not to be dismissing them. Compare their experience with that of the disciples in the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Lent–seeing but not yet participating–and that of the disciples, participating in Holy Week by watching what the Body of Christ is doing for them as they prepare for their own initiation therein. Just my two cents!

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