The end of Lent culminates with Holy Week. This year, Holy Week begins on April 9th and ends on April 16th. The week includes Palm Sunday, Holy Monday and Tuesday, Spy Wednesday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. I am going to talk about Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday. This is a very special day in the church year, and it specifically commemorates The Last Supper and the events leading up to Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. For Roman Catholics, the Last Supper was the very first Mass, and it laid out the model for Holy Communion. Holy Thursday is the beginning of the Easter Triduum, which also includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
There are several different things that are done differently on Holy Thursday that are not done at a typical Mass. The Mass is called a ‘Chrism Mass’ because the holy oils for specific sacraments are blessed during this Mass. Twelve people are picked to represent the twelve apostles, and the priest washes each of their feet to symbolize Christ washing the feet of the first priests, the apostles. At the end of the Mass, the priest processes in front of all attending with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance. Then, all are invited to stay after the Mass for at least a short time to keep the stay with the Blessed Sacrament, just as the apostles kept the night watch with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Mass also begins at sundown, just as the Last Supper did. In my opinion, this night is one of the most beautiful Mass celebrations of the year!
By: Brynna Schroeder
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