The Paschal Mystery is a core doctrine of the Church, one of the essential beliefs of all Christians.
Though all doctrines are important, it can also be said that some doctrines define the very heart of the Christian faith.
The Paschal Mystery is one of those doctrines, making it similar to the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Trinity. Describing the Paschal Mystery focuses on the “what” of the Paschal Mystery—that is, the four events commonly used to describe it: the Passion, death, Resurrection, and Ascension.
The Paschal Mystery reveals that Christ’s Passion and death, in loving obedience to his Father’s will, were necessary to bring to fruition God’s plan of salvation.
His Resurrection is proof and affirmation that God’s saving plan has been fulfilled, and his Ascension enables the Church to continue to make salvation available to all people through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Simply stated, the Paschal Mystery is the doctrinal teaching that God saves us from the consequences of sin—both Original Sin and our personal sins—through the saving work of Jesus Christ.
The Paschal Mystery is celebrated and made present in the liturgy of the Church, and its saving effects are communicated through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. (7:17)