Prepare your house for celebration of Triduum and Easter

By Father Tyler J. Bandura
Director, Office for Priestly Vocations

The Paschal Triduum, which we are about to celebrate, is a journey with Jesus from death to new life. For the first time in history, the diocese will celebrate Holy Week virtually through streamed broadcasts. This is difficult for all of us; this restriction will change how we celebrate these important feasts. But this must not prevent us from remembering and celebrating what the liturgies of Holy Week commemorate.

Here are ways for families to prepare their homes for the celebration of Holy Week as you join Bishop Edward C. Malesic for the Holy Week Masses.

Thank you for staying connected to your faith.    

Holy Thursday

Items to display on a prayer table:

  • Loaf of bread/wine or grape juice
  • Towel/basin and pitcher
  • First Communion picture
  • Images of people serving/pictures of  your family fulfilling service
  • Picture of your parish priest/priests who have guided you
  • Religious pictures or icons from the house

Tonight we remember the gift of the priesthood and the Eucharist instituted by Jesus. In the Gospel of St. John, read at Mass on this night, Jesus teaches His disciples a new commandment of love, which He demonstrates through his example by washing the disciples’ feet, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” 

To recall the importance of the Eucharist, gather pictures from family first Communion celebrations. As a family, discuss the gift of the Eucharist.  Review with your family our belief as Catholics that when we go to Communion, we believe that we really and fully receive Jesus (referred to as the “Real Presence”). The change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at the moment of consecration is referred to as “transubstantiation.”

To recall the importance of your parish priest or priests who have played a significant role in your life, display pictures of them on the family prayer table. Pray together for an increase of vocations to the priesthood.

The pitcher and basin placed near or on the prayer table remind us of the invitation Jesus extends to His disciples to serve others after He washes their feet. Reflect together on ways others have served you, or ways in which you have served others.

Good Friday

Items to display on prayer table:

  • Cross, perhaps one that is a family heirloom
  • Red cloth to drape over the cross or prayer space
  • Passion account from the Gospel of John (can be found at
  • Candles to burn beside the cross
  • Stations of the Cross

The liturgy of Good Friday, also called “Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion,” has three actions when celebrated in church: the celebration of the Word, the adoration of the cross, and reception of the Eucharist. Think about ways we can simplify our life on this day to reflect the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. This day is about emptying, perhaps refraining from television, social media or other unnecessary activities from noon to 3 p.m. Try to go out of your way to add some extra time of prayer on this day. How can our lives reflect the sacrifice that Christ offered today on the cross for our salvation? 

Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday

Items to display on prayer table:

  • White cloth to cover prayer table
  • Flowers to decorate prayer table
    (perhaps go outside and collect some)
  • Bowl of water (holy water if possible)
  • Candle
  • Picture of baptism
  • Renewal of baptismal promises
  • “Alleluia” signs

The white cloth and flowers remind us of the joy that comes from the news that Jesus has risen from the dead. For the past 40 days, we have refrained from singing “Alleluia.” Today that fast is over. Have your children create “Alleluia” signs to hang around the house. 

It is the custom on this day to renew our baptismal promises. At baptism we die to original sin as water demonstrates this cleansing.  In baptism, we experience the power of Christ’s victory over sin and death. Renew your belief in Christ together as a family.

If possible, light the candle used at the baptism of a family member. The candle represents Christ, the light of the world who destroys darkness. 


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