(Cleveland) - Roman Catholics throughout the world are, right now, celebrating what are essentially the church's High Holy days.

The Easter Triduum began Thursday night with the Mass of the Lord's Supper, continues with Good Friday, and concludes Saturday evening with the Easter Vigil.

Rev. Don Oleksiak, Vicar General for the Diocese of Cleveland, tells WTAM 1100 that the three days leading up to Easter Sunday are a special time of the year. He says this is the time to remember, through things like the ceremonial washing of the feet and the veneration of the cross, that we can remember that even though we're imperfect, God will be always there for us.

Good Friday for Catholics is usually observed with the Stations of the Cross around noon, leading up to the Passion service at churches at 3:00 p.m. Father Oleksiak says this timing is based on scripture that indicates that Jesus died at about 3 in the afternoon.

Saturday night, after sunset, the Holy Saturday Mass is celebrated. It's a longer than usual Mass, which may drive away some people. But, Father Oleksiak says, "What's a couple of hours out of our life to bask in the incredible gift that God's given us?" There are numerous readings, there's a glorious celebration when the alleluia is sung for the first time since the start of Lent, and new members of the church are baptized and confirmed, a celebration of new life.

(Photo by Tom Moore, WTAM 1100)

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