Easter – the high point of the Church’s year – and what we’ve all been waiting and preparing for, will soon be upon us. We are at the halfway mark towards this ‘Solemnity of all solemnities’, and will soon celebrate the Easter Triduum. Solemnities have the highest rank in Church celebrations and celebrate the most significant mysteries of faith. Their observance begins with the Evening prayer of the previous day.

A triduum is a three-day period of prayer, in preparation for an important solemnity or feast. The Paschal or Easter Triduum begins with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday and continues until the start of second vespers (evening prayer) on Easter Sunday.

On this 40 day journey, we have prayed, fasted and given alms – to prepare ourselves to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord with our hearts and minds fully renewed.

We share some key highlights below of the liturgies we will be participating in during Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil.

May we be open to the graces that each liturgy offers us -that we may know the depth of the love being offered us, and power of the gift of life that our Saviour won for us. –Cheryl Sim

HOLY THURSDAY: Chrism Eucharist and the Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper

Holy Thursday celebrates the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the institution of the sacrament of the priesthood.

During the Last Supper, Jesus offers himself as the Passover sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb, and teaches that every ordained priest is to follow the same sacrifice in the exact same say.

Only two Eucharists are celebrated on Holy Thursday – the Chrism Eucharist and the Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper.

Chrism Eucharist
On the morning of 29 March 2018, at the Church of Transfiguration, all the priests in our Archdiocese and Archbishop William Goh will gather with the faithful and laity to celebrate the Chrism Eucharist. This Eucharist is a celebration of the priesthood and will see our priests renew the promises that they made at their ordination.

Archbishop William Goh will also bless the Oil of the Sick, the Oil of the Catechumen and consecrate the Sacred Chrism (used for baptism, confirmation and the Holy Orders). These oils will be distributed to all the parishes for use during the liturgical year.

Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper
Holy Thursday night (because Passover began at the sundown) – marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Pascal or Easter Triduum.

The evening Eucharist on Holy Thursday is referred to as the Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper. This is where the

Photo Credit: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore

Church relives the institution of the Eucharist and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the Last Supper, as well as the institution of the priesthood, which took place the evening before Jesus was crucified.

After the homily, there is an optional washing of the feet, where the priest washes the feet of others to signify his role as ‘servant’, just as Jesus did with his disciples.

This year at the Church of St. Michael, we will all be given the opportunity to wash the feet of our loved ones – in a similar act of love, humility and forgiveness towards one another.

The Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday concludes with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the “altar of repose,” a place where the consecrated host is kept other than the main altar where the Eucharist is normally celebrated. All altars are stripped of their furnishings except the Altar of Repose.

After Holy Thursday, no Eucharist will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil celebrates and proclaims the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

At the conclusion of the Eucharist, the faithful are invited to continue with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, just as the disciples were invited to stay up with the Lord during His agony in the garden before His betrayal by Judas.


This is the first full day of the Easter Triduum, a day commemorating the Passion, Cross, and death of Jesus Christ, and therefore a mandatory day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting is for those from the ages of 18 to 60 (can. 1251) and abstinence is for those from the ages of 14 to 60.

No Eucharist is celebrated on this day. The service of Good Friday is called the “Mass of the Pre-sanctified”. It often takes place at 3pm, the hour that Jesus breathed his last on the cross. It is Eucharist service because no consecration takes place. In the Mass of the Pre-sanctified, Communion which has already been consecrated on Holy Thursday is given to the people.

Veneration of the Cross also takes place at this service, where worshippers kneel before a cross and either touch or kiss it.


A vigil Mass is held after nightfall on Holy Saturday in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. This is called the Easter Vigil, the most glorious, beautiful, and dramatic liturgy for the Church.

There are four main parts in the celebration – the Service of Light, the Liturgy of the Word, Christian Initiation and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows and the Holy Eucharist.

The Service of the Light marks the beginning of the celebration of Easter Vigil. Where possible, the faithful gather outside the church after sunset where a fire is blessed by the celebrant. This new fire symbolizes the radiance of the Risen Christ dispelling the darkness of sin and death. It is from this new fire that the paschal candle is lit – the same paschal candle that will be used throughout the season of Easter and in the coming year at baptisms and funerals, a sign and reminder to all that Christ is “light and life”.

This is followed by the ancient and dramatic Lucernarium rite, in which the candle is carried by a priest through the church that is in complete darkness. He stops three times to chant an acclamation such as ‘Christ our Light’ or ‘Light of Christ’, to which the assembly responds ‘Thanks be to God’. All baptized Catholics (those who have received the “Light of Christ”) present then receive the fire lit from the paschal candle. This symbolic “Light of Christ” spreads through the congregation as one candle after another is lit.

Once the candle has been placed on its stand in the sanctuary, the lights in the church are switched on and the assembly extinguish their candles for the Eucharist to begin.

Have you prepared your Paschal Candle?

Celebrating Easter
We celebrate because Easter is upon us!
May the joy of the Lord’s Resurrection fill your hearts this Easter and remain with you always.

To celebrate the Easter Triduum fully, refer to ‘Announcements’ for the complete schedule of Eucharist timings.