By Stacy Glynn LaMorte, NOLA Catholic Parenting
“Mom, why is it called ‘Good’ Friday if that is the day Jesus died?” I have wondered that myself before truly grasping the gravity that Lent and the Triduum offer us.
Both in school and at home, our children are taught lessons about the meaning of Lent, the days leading up to Easter and the Easter season itself. They know that Easter is about more than bunnies and brightly colored eggs. However, I don’t know that I truly grasped this concept until I got older.
I remember having just moved back to New Orleans after living in California for several years and being invited to a crawfish boil on Good Friday. After being crawfish-deprived for so many years, this seemed like an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up, as I love a good boil! I had had a particularly productive Lent that year and was in a good frame of mind going into Easter, so when we arrived at our friends’ house, something didn’t feel right. It was festively decorated, everyone was laughing, adorable kids running around everywhere, wine and beer were iced and flowing freely, and piles of crawfish were on the table with people standing around, socializing and eating until they couldn’t eat anymore.
Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? Except that it was Good Friday, a solemn day of fasting and abstinence. It was an eye-opening experience for me.
The Triduum is the most solemn time in the liturgical calendar. Beginning with evening Mass on Holy Thursday, continuing to Good Friday, Holy Saturday, the Easter Vigil and finally ending with evening Mass Easter Sunday.
It is a wonderful opportunity to focus on the unique traditions and pageantry of the Catholic Church that only happen once a year. On Holy Thursday and Good Friday, we fast and pray, humbling ourselves and reflecting on all that God has done for us in sacrificing his only Son, the Lamb of God. On Holy Saturday, we accompany the Blessed Mother as she waited at the tomb of the Lord, which has so much more meaning to me now as a mother. Then comes Easter Sunday! This is a time of joy, renewal, and mostly a time of hope.
As Catholic Christians, we are called to be an “Easter people.” We are called to be the light of the world and to let that light shine. However, we must experience the darkness to be able to truly appreciate the light. That, my dear child, is why it is “Good” Friday.
Stacy Glynn LaMorte is a wife and mother of three children. She is a work-from-home mom who is a fitness professional and does bookkeeping part-time. She loves being with her family, traveling, exercising, reading, photography and gardening.