The Paschal Triduum


On this Maundy Thursday we begin the Paschal Triduum, the Great Three Days of Easter. Day 2 is Good Friday, and Day 3 is Easter Day.

The liturgies for these three days are really one liturgy in three parts. We begin tonight. Our time together concludes tonight with the stripping and washing of the altar.

As we pause the liturgy of the three days this evening, our prayer continues in vigil before the reserved sacrament in the Lady Chapel until sunrise on Good Friday as we keep watch through the night. If you would like to join in keeping watch, please sign up on the schedule beside the Lady Chapel.

On Good Friday we enter in the same silence in which we exit on Maundy Thursday. There is no Eucharist celebrated. The aumbry is empty; the altar is bare. As the Good Friday liturgy concludes, we again depart in silence.

The silence of Holy Saturday is necessary and profound. The tomb and the womb are one and the same. Fresh radiance always begins in the deepest darkness. When the sun goes down Saturday, Easter Day has arrived. The Great Vigil of Easter begins in the dark in the same silence in which we departed on Good Friday.

The most traditional time to keep the Great Vigil of Easter is after dark on Saturday night. Because of the long tradition of a sunrise service at St Paul's, Key West, we will begin the Vigil before daybreak on Sunday morning at 6 AM, which is also an acceptable time. We will kindle the new fire in the courtyard between the historic rectory and the church building. After lighting the paschal candle, we will light our individual candles from it and process to the memorial garden. We will hear the ancient words of the Exsultet sung and hear lessons of salvation history. And as dawn breaks, we will declare Easter and announce the Resurrection.

Our celebrations will continue through the morning of Easter Day and into the afternoon. There will be a festive choral Eucharist at 10 AM in the nave. We will process out of the church to the courtyard in front of the historic rectory where Kip Colligan will cut the ribbon announcing the beginning of the restoration of the rectory.

Some will then hunt Easter eggs while others go directly to a potluck brunch in the parish hall. A champagne and sparkling water toast will herald the Resurrection of our Savior, the restoration of the historic rectory, and the joyous reality of experiencing more life, new life on the other side of death. 

I hope you will be present in person and online for as many of these powerful liturgies and celebrations as possible. I greatly look forward to celebrating the Sacred Three Days with you. 

Padre's Blog A la Mote
Posted by The Very Reverend Donna S. Mote, PhD

Our 34th rector, Dr Mote, was installed by Bishop Eaton on Saturday, June 5th, 2021.  Prior to joining St Paul's, she served as the Vicar of ATL (Episcopal Chaplain to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport).  With Bishop Robert C. Wright she authored, The Go Guide: 10 Steps for Innovations in Ministry from Luke 10. Beginning in 2016, Donna served on the bishop's staff as Missioner for Engagement and Innovation in the Diocese of Atlanta, to consult on, coach, strategize, support, promote, and provoke innovations in ministry in Middle and North Georgia.  She was also Chaplain to the Georgia State Defense Force and the 76th Support Brigade.

Donna earned degrees from Shorter College (BA), Southern Seminary (MDiv), and Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion (PhD) and completed Anglican studies at Sewanee: The University of the South. Donna was raised up for ordination by the parish of St Bartholomew’s, Atlanta. She is an Associate of the Order of St Helena.  Donna is married to Rebecca England, and they have two sons, Anderson and Jordan.

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