Four quick real-life tips for celebrating the Triduum with children

Easter Candle by Northfielder (Flickr)

3 thoughts on “Four quick real-life tips for celebrating the Triduum with children”

  1. Hi Rita,

    My challenges/questions in dismissing children on Holy Thursday and Good Friday:

    1. No one would stay with the children after dismissal. I missed the Liturgy of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday and Communion on Good Friday when I stayed with the children.

    2. At what point of the Mass and Good Friday service do you dismiss the Elect? After homily like on Sundays, or after Washing of the Feet on HT and Veneration of the Cross on GF?

  2. Rita Burns Senseman

    Hi Julia,
    You’re right that dismissal during the Triduum is a challenging issue, especially with children. Part of what makes dismissal of children a very delicate issue is that we first have to be concerned about safe environment issues. Safety of children must be the top priority.

    If you do dismiss the children with an adult who has received the proper safety training, the dismissal is before the General Intercessions on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. See an article by Nick, https://teamrcia.com/2007/04/01/when-do-you-dismiss-during-triduum/

    The “Prayers of the Faithful” (or General Intercessions) are reserved for the “faithful,” i.e. the baptized. Thus, those not baptized are dismissed prior to these prayers. So, yes, that means after the washing of feet on Holy Thursday. However, on Good Friday the General Intercessions typically come before the Veneration of the Cross. So,the elect would be dismissed before the Veneration. But, to be honest, we have the children who are the elect stay for the veneration and then dismiss them. (Maybe a liturgist would like to comment on this point?)

    Furthermore, this does not address the issue of you, the catechist missing the Liturgy of the Eucharist on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. That is not a good thing and I know it’s very difficult for you. I think you have to make a decision year to year, based on what is best for everyone involved. You may have a parent who is also one of the elect. IF the children who are elect have joined with the adult elect on other occasions AND a parent is present for the dismissal, the children might be dismissed with the adults. The age of the children is also a determining factor. If there is no one to lead the children, they can certainly remain in the assembly.

    Let us know what you decide to do! We would love to hear how you handle this situation.

  3. The question, I think, is when to transition from the period of purification and enlightenment to the celebration of the sacraments of initiation. Is Holy Saturday at the Vigil the only option? In our parish, we consider the Triduum as one celebration spread out over three days and invite our elect to be by our sides for the entire Triduum. We include them in the Presentation of the Holy Oils and the Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday. We do not dismiss during the Triduum. Our dismissals conclude at the end of Lent.

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