Cardinal Nichols prohibits traditional Easter Triduum

Traditional Easter Triduum

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has refused permission for the celebration of the old Latin rite of the traditional Easter Triduum in Westminster.

This is the first time since the 1990s that the Easter Triduum won’t be celebrated in the Westminster Diocese.

The traditional Triduum rite follows the liturgical books in use before the 1970 liturgy reform.

In February Nichols (pictured) declined the request “for the sake of the wider provision”.

The Latin Mass Society of England and Wales says it is “grieved” by the news.

It noted the faithful who attend the traditional liturgy in several other locations in the archdiocese “will now be denied the chance to attend the most important liturgical days of the year according to this liturgy within the Archdiocese of Westminster”.

Traditional Triduum services will still be celebrated in London but outside the archdiocese.

Nichols says he made the decision in accordance with “the parameters laid down by the Holy See”.

He was referring to Pope Francis’s 2021 apostolic letter Traditionis Custodes (Guardians of the Tradition).

There have since been clarifications from the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, which impose restrictions on the traditional Latin liturgy.

Nichols says he is “waiting for the judgment of the Holy See on which parish church, if any, may be used for the celebration of Mass according to the Missal antecedent to the reform of 1970″.

“I realise that this will disappoint some people, but I have to keep the wider picture in view.”

Change of heart

It is not clear what prompted Cardinal Nichols to prohibit the traditional Triduum this year.

He has allowed it in previous years. Last year, after he had threatened not to allow it, he reversed course following a petition.

The Latin Mass Society says when Traditionis Custodes was published, Nichols distanced himself from the apostolic letter.

At that time he said he thought the Pope’s concerns “do not reflect the overall liturgical life of this diocese”.

Since then, Nichols has made two other similar decisions.

In January 2022, he canceled a 20-year-old practice of the archdiocese providing the Sacrament of Confirmation according to the traditional liturgy (Vetus Ordo).

In November 2023, he ended the Latin Mass Society’s annual requiem Mass in Westminster Cathedral, which had been celebrated for more than 50 years.

“It seems that Catholics attached to the older liturgy are being punished for misdemeanors that Cardinal Nichols believes they have not committed” the Latin Mass Society commented.

Latin Masses elsewhere in the world are also being discontinued.


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