The Church begins the sacred Easter Triduum on Holy Thursday.The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is also the memorial of the institution of the priesthood, by which Christ’s mission and sacrifice are perpetuated in the world.
The Church gathers on Holy Thursday much like the people of Israel gathered for a meal on the eve of their journey out of slavery in Egypt to freedom. We commemorate our passage from sin to freedom in Jesus Christ, through his death on the cross. At this paschal meal, we are one in the celebration of the Eucharist as we recognize that Jesus invites us to serve one another.
This year, we have been directed to omit the ritual Washing of the Feet. The Reception of Holy Oils will be postponed until a future Mass when we are able to be gathered together. At the closing of the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Blessed Sacrament is transferred to the place of repose for Eucharistic adoration into the night. This year we are to keep the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle overnight for Good Friday. We will sing the Pange Lingua, a Latin hymn written by Saint Thomas Aquinas which honors Christ’s glorious body in the Eucharist.
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