As we continue our Lenten journey I’d like
to focus on our destination: the celebration of the Sacred Triduum and
the renewal of our baptismal promises at Easter.
Holy Thursday begins the Triduum (the three
days); it is the celebration of the Lord’s Last Supper. The liturgy
begins with the presentation of the Sacred Oils that were blessed by
the Cardinal at the Chrism Mass on Monday of Holy week. These oils are
used throughout the year for Baptisms, Confirmation and especially for
the Catechumens during their initiation sacraments.
The scriptures proclaimed this evening tell
of the Passover meal and the Lord’s command of his disciples to
celebrate the meal at table “in remembrance” of him. St. Paul's letter
describes Christ’s action at the supper on the night he was handed
over and institutes what we celebrate daily as the Mass.
The Mandatum (Latin for commandment),
described in John’s Gospel, shows Jesus washing the apostle’s feet,
modeling the sublime example of service.
Holy Thursday has included this ritual of a
ceremonial washing of feet since the 5th century. It was adopted in
Spain and in France in the 7th century and in Rome by the 12th
century. In the early church this ritual took place throughout the
year as an act of charity. For some time it was even considered a
After Communion the mood of the liturgy
changes as the depth of what has transpired sinks in and we begin the
procession and the transfer of the Eucharist to the Chapel of Repose.
There we sing the traditional “Tatem Ergo” which tells of how we adore
this Blessed Sacrament.
The Sacred Triduum is a celebration for everyone! Mark your calendar now for March 24 @ 7:30 p.m.
It is a solemn event which will profoundly deepen your personal encounter with the Living Christ. (February 27, 2005)