Thursday, April 13, 2017
Holy Thursday, Triduum I
The Last Supper, by Juan de Juanes, ca. 1562AD.
On this day, Thursday of Holy Week, we begin the Sacred Triduum and the holiest time of the entire year.
It is customary for the Bishop of each diocese to bless the Sacred Chrism for the coming year at a Mass this morning, with the priests of his diocese. In many dioceses, like this blogger's own Archdiocese of Atlanta, the Chrism Mass takes place earlier in Holy Week. Nevertheless, it is an opportune moment to recall the character of Chrism: Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Chrism
Of course, this evening is the time of the Mass of the Last Supper, and of the Maundy, or that mandate of washing of the feet.
The Gospel of St. John describes the event thus in Chapter 13:
"Chapter 13:1 Before the paschal feast began, Jesus already knew that the time had come for his passage from this world to the Father. He still loved those who were his own, whom he was leaving in the world, and he would give them the uttermost proof of his love. 2 Supper was over, and the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, son of Simon, the Iscariot, to betray him. 3 Jesus knew well that the Father had left everything in his hands; knew it was from God that he came, and to God that he went. 4 And now, rising from supper, he laid his garments aside, took a towel, and put it about him; 5 and then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the feet of his disciples, wiping them with the towel that girded him. 6 So, when he came to Simon Peter, Peter asked him, Lord, is it for thee to wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered him, It is not for thee to know, now, what I am doing; but thou wilt understand it afterwards. 8 Peter said to him, I will never let thee wash my feet; and Jesus answered him, If I do not wash thee, it means thou hast no companionship with me. 9 Then, Lord, said Peter, wash my hands and my head too, not only my feet. 10 But Jesus told him, A man who has bathed does not need to do more than wash the stains from his feet; he is clean all over. And you are clean now; only, not all of you. 11 He knew who his betrayer was; that is why he said, You are not all clean. 12 Then, when he had finished washing their feet and put on his garments, he sat down again, and said to them, Do you understand what it is I have done to you? 13 You hail me as the Master, and the Lord; and you are right, it is what I am. 14 Why then, if I have washed your feet, I who am the Master and the Lord, you in your turn ought to wash each other’s feet; 15 I have been setting you an example, which will teach you in your turn to do what I have done for you."
Our Lord would continue, and this evening we recall that Last Supper, and the institution of the Sacred Priesthood.
These sites all contain splendid insights and details on this most holy day:
Old Catholic Encyclopedia: Maundy Thursday
Fish Eaters: Maundy Thursday
Having finished his great discourse, Our Lord and His disciples departed to the Garden to pray. The following timepiece is a wonderful aide for meditation on the events of this evening, night, and following morning: