I have always wondered how to prepare for momentous occasions. One especially important occasion is the Triduum – the three-day liturgy celebrated by Catholics as a part of Easter – where we encounter the Passion and death of Jesus. I notice every year that I feel unprepared for such a wonderful moment – of encountering Jesus when He died for me.

How does one prepare for the holiest days of the year? Are there practical things one can do to enter into these mysteries more deeply?

How do you connect with that Love that created the universe and then chose to die for us all?

This year, I decided to ask the Sisters if there are special ways that they prepare themselves for this amazing weekend of God’s love. I asked them what their favourite devotions are, movies, and special Triduum memories, to glean from their wisdom.

Q. What is your ‘go-to’ Lenten practice? What has been the most impactful for you?

Sr. Monique: Feasting – Fast! For sure fasting is a ‘go-to’ practice – this year is a sugar fast and using devices less.

Sr. Alison: My ‘go-to’ Lenten practice is usually adding a book that has a 40-day reflection to prepare my heart for Easter. There have been many out there that I have loved. One that comes to mind was 40-days with Mother Teresa called I Thirst. I also subscribe to Dynamic Catholics “Best Lent Ever” online program. I have been enjoying that for many years.

Sr. Michael Penelope: It depends on the year and where I am in my healing and my spiritual journey. I follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Sr. Melinda: The most impactful Lenten practices for me are when scripture inspires a sacrifice I can make. For example – giving up ‘excess light’ (choosing to save energy and not flip on that light) and remembering Jesus say “I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). All of this to say I’m not a ‘give up sweets’ kind of person, but try to tune into what the Holy Spirit is asking of me, and where He wants to provide growth and change in my life.

Q. Are there any movies that help you enter into the mystery of the Cross?

Movies that help the Sisters enter into this season are: Godspell, The Passion of the Christ, The Chosen, and The Lord of the Rings.

Q. Do you have any favourite devotions that help you reflect on the Passion?

Most of the Sisters have a special love for the Stations of the Cross. The Stations walk through the Passion of Jesus step by step, so that we can enter into this space with Jesus and walk with Him along His way.

Other Sisters enjoy the Rosary to enter into the Passion, while others have a favourite hymn that draws them into the Passion, namely, the Via Dolorosa.

Q. How do you prepare for Good Friday and Easter? Is there anything special that you do to prepare your heart?

Sr. Melinda: Preparation for Good Friday and Easter is supported by the whole Lenten experience. Taking the time to ‘feel the pinch’ (that is fasting) during Lent disposes my heart for the sacrifice that Jesus will make, for me, on Good Friday. Taking time to read through the Gospel accounts of the Passion is time well spent for me. Silence, fasting, and then a great solemnity, beginning with the Easter Vigil.

Sr. Anna: Stillness in my heart. Present to the Lord in these moments. Receiving the grace of the outpouring of His redeeming love. Gratitude.

Sr. Monique: Have more intentional silent moments, more prayer time.

Sr. Michael Penelope: I make the effort to set aside some more quiet time with the Lord, to be still with him and meditate on the mystery of God’s love.

Sr. Alison: As Easter gets closer, I try to quiet my heart a bit more to be more attentive to the movements of our Lord.

Q. What was your most memorable Easter Triduum? What made it special?

Sr. Melinda: There are so many that come to mind! The memories that come to mind are connected with making the Triduum tangible: at John Paul II Bible School – we had fasting and silence during Holy Week, a seder supper, and an outdoor Stations of the Cross around the perimeter of the property. We then added our nails to the wooden Cross. More silence and waiting, and then seeing that Cross transformed, draped in white and shining with light as we returned home from Easter Vigil.

Sr. Melinda and Sr. Monique: Another memorable Triduum was at Catholic Chaplaincy York University – the solemnity with which each liturgy was celebrated and welcoming catechumens and candidates into the church at the Easter Vigil was very moving.

Sr. Alison: My most memorable Easter Triduum was in 2018 when I spent the entire Holy Week in silence on retreat. It was time for just me and my Lord. I most remember on Good Friday, as we venerated the cross, I cried for the first time. I felt like I had lost my best friend. I mourned the death of Jesus. Before that year, I just “did” Holy Week and the Triduum, but never really entered as I did that year. Everything changed for me that year. I try my hardest not to compare each year to that year. I do hope I can do that again someday. I highly recommend people to try Holy Week in silence. You will never be the same again.

Sr. Michael Penelope: Since I participated in the English Liturgies, I have missed the Vietnamese celebrations. I find phrases and exclamations are more meaningful in my native tongue. The hymn ‘Vidi Aquam’ – ‘I saw water flowing from the temple’ in Vietnamese is among my favourites.

In conclusion, 

I learnt from the Sisters that God isn’t looking down his nose at us and asking for a huge sacrifice as we enter into this holy time. But, because His love is so great, our desire to respond to His love burns in our hearts.

The Triduum is about an encounter and response to the amazing love of Jesus and the Father. As we acknowledge and encounter His mercy – we can’t help but worship and pray in gratitude. We enter the liturgy knowing God is pleased with us, we have only to say ‘yes’ and ‘thank you.’

How do you prepare your heart to encounter the incredible mercy of God?


  1. Joanne Bywaters April 4, 2022 at 12:44 am - Reply

    Beautiful to hear Faith so alive!!!❤🙏🤗

  2. Kira April 4, 2022 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    I know the feeling of feeling the presence of God with light shining from the sun. It is an unspoken poem from God, where he is welcoming us to experience His holy spirit. Great Article Sister!! It is a good read, with great examples of practicing lent.

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