The first day of the Triduum was concluded this morning, Thursday, July 14, at 9hrs, with Capitular High Mass presided by Can. Richard N. Farrugia. As tradition dictates, the days of the triduum run from noon to noon. Thus St George’s triduum started yesterday, Wednesday, at noon and concludes Saturday, July 16, also at noon, at which time the actual solemnity slides in.
The Triduum days have two major liturgies: the solemning singing of Vespers and the concelebrated High Mass. The singing of Vespers, or evening prayer, precedes the sermon on the life of the Saint which is then followed by the full-choir and orchestra hymn and antiphon in his honour and finally sacramental benediction.
Yesterday’s evening liturgy started at 18.30hrs, and was it glorious! The central aisle of the basilica, as well as the two main side wings were packed to capacity. The congregation was, of course, mainly made up of people from Victoria, but there were several festa dilettantes from Malta and some English speaking visitors. The clergy, comprising the canons of the collegiate chapter, processed from the sacristy to the sound of the organ music that was but a prelude to a superb array of sacred polyphany, plainchant, a cappella choruses and full orchestra cantatas.
The Vespers were presided by Can. Emanuel Buttigieg. The sermon was delivered by Rev. Papas Profs Martin Zammit, Parish Priest of the Greek Catholic Parish of St. Mary of Damascus, Valletta. The Sacramental Benediction was imparted by the Rev. Can. Simon M. Cachia.
The times of each daily liturgy are: 18.30hrs for Vespers, sermon, cantata, antiphon and benediction; and 9hrs for Concelebation.
Mass times are: AM 5.15, 6.00, 6.30, 7.00, 7.30, 8.00, 9.00, 10.00, 11.00 and noon, and PM 5.00 and 6.00.
As already said, flanking the liturgical celebrations there are the external festivities. Yesterday evening’s band marches were performed by the La Stella Band and Santa Margerita Band of Sannat.