Small ways to make your Triduum more holy (even if you’re busy)

Nobody told me it was Holy Week this week! And so I didn’t know.

I totally did it to myself. I usually feel so terrible about spending Holy Week frantically doing last-minute shopping for frilly dresses and tights and chocolate and candy for the kids, when I ought to be pondering my own mortality. This year, vowing to keep my priorities straight, I did all the shopping and fussing far ahead of time, and filled up my bedroom with bags and parcels of Easter goodies all packed away, ready to be brought out when the season was right.

The upshot was that, when Holy Week actually arrived, I had no clue. I had deprived myself of the usual cues of furtive guilt and desperation, and there was nothing to replace it. Now it’s almost Good Friday, everything’s ready, and I’m completely disoriented.

Jokes aside, I have been thinking about how to keep Holy Week holy — beyond, of course, the traditional fasting, praying, and giving alms, which I assume you already know about! Very few of us can simply drop out of our everyday routine and focus entirely on spiritual things to prepare for Easter. We have to live our everyday lives while still somehow preparing ourselves for the most holy and solemn and meaningful three days of the entire year. How do we pull that off?

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly

Image: Loïc LLH, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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4 thoughts on “Small ways to make your Triduum more holy (even if you’re busy)”

  1. “You can offer up failure to the Lord, too, and He receives that as graciously as any great achievement or sacrifice… The only mistake you can make is to stay away.”
    I most often need help remembering that it’s all about receiving His Mercy. These two sentences ring bells for me. Thank you for this truth!

  2. I entered into this year’s Holy Week fresh off of being laid off by a very beloved job that I had for almost two years (it was actually a week ago today when the HR lady gave me notice, saying that COVID had finally caught up with them). I had gotten that job after spending several months unemployed due to being laid off from the job before due to COVID restrictions. Before that, I could only get seasonal jobs that inevitably laid me off once the time was done.

    Even though I had suspected that this was about to happen and handled it far calmer than I would have a few years ago, the pain eventually caught up like it always does.

    Yesterday, when I came home for the last time, I took off my shoes, walked into my room, picked up my pillow and let out the worst scream of my entire life. It lasted less than five seconds, but it had enough pain, heartbreak, wrath, despair, fright, and misery was to leave my chest and throat sore and throbbing for at least ten minutes, where I almost couldn’t even talk. I have been through this long and frequently enough to learn the lesson that not even God’s love, let alone a labor shortage, guarantees the consent of other people. I was acknowledging and unleashing the reality that I was heading for another infuriating period of rejection and ghosting and humiliation and there was nobody to blame and nothing left to do but to just keep applying and grieving until someone finally considered me a priority again. My Lent had otherwise been very gentle and reflective and far more transforming than any other Lents that I can remember. I did not want it to end with the loss of something I considered nothing short of one of the best blessings I had gotten in a long time.

    The next day, as of now, I’ve had at least three people reach out to me about my applications and my interest in their jobs (no official offers yet, but definite interest in hiring me and training me). So I’ll very likely be spending this Triduum wondering how much I must’ve shaken the heavens and how many demons I must’ve sent running away in tears.

    1. As a postscript, I make sure to pray for God’s wisdom in helping me handle this situation rather than just asking Him to give me a job Himself. I’m sure that this sounds sacrilegious and heretical to many other Catholics, but I know from experience that if I ask Him for something like this, I’ll sooner or later get frustrated at Him for not running on my time compared to His and things will just be worse because I’ll be blaming Him for something that’s not his fault. My livelihood is already in danger and I don’t need to endanger my relationship with Him along with it. In prayer, my attitude matters just as much as my frequency.

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