TRIDUUM: Holy Thursday
TRIDUUM: Holy Thursday

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 sacrament.

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)

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