Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Week Special: Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday (Huwebes Santo) is the beginning of the Triduum (3 days leading up to Easter Sunday).

In the morning, the faithfuls (especially those living near the cathedral) join their parish priest in the usual morning mass in the cathedral. This time of the day is a very joyful celebration as this is considered by many priests in the country to be the day when they renew their sacerdotal vows. In most cases, banners saying 'WE LOVE YOU FATHER (name of the priest)' is seen outside the cathedral (or somewhere else appropriate) to signify their support their parish priests.

Also celebrated on this day is the last Mass before Easter (commonly called the Mass of the Institution of the Lord's Supper) usually including a reenactment of the Washing of the Feet of the Apostles; this Mass is followed by the procession of the Blessed Sacrament before it is taken to the Altar of Repose. A popular tradition is "Church Visit" or "Visita Iglesia", which usually involves going to 7 different churches to visit the exposed blessed sacrament after it is placed in the Altar of Repose.

Q: Why do people visit seven churches on Holy Thursday?

A: The custom goes back to the early Church when Christians would visit the seven great basilicas in Rome for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday. The sacramentary, the official altar book of the Church, says that after this Mass, "The faithful should be encouraged to continue adoration before the blessed sacrament for a suitable period of time during the night, according to local circumstances, but there should be no solemn adoration after midnight."

Visita Iglesia is a practice in cities, where there are many churches, in countries as diverse as Malta, Poland, Ireland and The Philippines. Filipinos have brought it to places in North America that never had it before.
Source: The Catholic Herald

Visita Iglesia can also be done online, click HERE

Maundy Thursday Gospel:

The Easter Triduum
Thursday, April 21, 2011 
Holy Thursday Evening – Mass of the Lord's Supper
First Reading:
Second Reading:
After you have made a decision that is pleasing to God, the Devil may try to make you have second thoughts. Intensify your prayer time, meditation, and good deeds. For if Satan's temptations merely cause you to increase your efforts to grow in holiness, he'll have an incentive to leave you alone.
-- St. Ignatius of Loyola

love, now and always, 

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