Precisely because these faith-anchoring events are historical, however, they cannot be repeated or “reenacted.” That is why the church’s long tradition insists that what happened once in history passes over into the mystery of the assembly’s liturgical, sacramental celebrations.
What the paschal triduum actually celebrates is mystery, not history… The liturgies of these days do not “take us back” to the
upper room or the path to Calvary. Their ultimate purpose is not to retrace or relive the last hours of Jesus’ life – nor to catch sight of him emerging from the tomb at Easter’s dawning. They celebrate not what once happened to Jesus, but what is now happening among us a people called to conversion, gathered in faith, and gifted with the Spirit of holiness. They celebrate God’s taking possession of our hearts at their deepest core, recreating us as a new human community broken like bread for the world’s life – a community rich in compassion, steadfast in hope, and fearless in the search for justice and peace.
Taken from “The Three Days of Pascha” by Nathan Mitchell