Thursday, April 17, 2014
Holy Thursday celebrates especially the institution of the Mass at the Last Supper as the Sacrifice and Sacrament of Christian unity. On this day also, Jesus first shared His priesthood with men by ordaining the Apostles. Then He uttered the command that is the reason for every Mass: “Do this in remembrance of Me.” This is a day to think of the great love Jesus showed in instituting the Eucharist and to return that love by receiving Him in Holy Communion. Through Holy Communion we are united to Christ and to one another.
By sacrificing His life to unite men to God, by feeding men on His own Flesh and Blood, by an example of mutual charity given in washing the Apostles’ feet, by the command to love one another and to wash one another’s feet, by praying that they be one like the Father and Himself, and by showing the actual unity of all of them in Himself as branches in a living vine--in all these ways Jesus taught and molded men into one.
The Holy Thursday liturgy provides a ceremonial washing of feet. Wherever this is performed it is a living picture of Our Lord’s command that we love one another.
Everyone should spend some time today in adoring Jesus at the altar of repose.
The stripping of the Altars after Mass is a sign that Mass will not be offered again until Holy Saturday evening.
Most scholars agree that the English word Maundy in that name for the day is derived through Middle English and Old French mandé, from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" ("A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you"), the statement by Jesus in the Gospel of John 13:34 by which Jesus explained to the Apostles the significance of his action of washing their feet. The phrase is used as the antiphon sung in the Roman Rite during the "Mandatum" ceremony of the washing of the feet, which may be held during Mass or at another time as a separate event, during which a priest or bishop (representing Christ) ceremonially washes the feet of others, typically 12 persons chosen as a cross-section of the community.
INTROIT (Ga. 6:14)
But it is fitting that we should glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is salvation, life and resurrection for us, by whom we are saved and delivered.
Ps. 66:2. May God have mercy on us and bless us; may He let His face shine upon us; and may He have mercy on us. But it is fitting . . .
The Gloria is sung.
After the Gloria, the organ is not played, nor are the bells sounded, until the Mass of the Easter Vigil on Saturday night.
O God, who punished Judas for his crime and rewarded the good thief for his penitence, be merciful to us! Our Lord Jesus Christ in His passion gave each one recompense according to his deserts; may He deliver us from our sins of old, and bestow on us the grace of His resurrection; who lives and rules with You . . .
EPISTLE (I Cor. 11:20-32)
Brethren: When you come therefore together into one place, it is not now to eat the Lord's supper. For every one taketh before his own supper to eat. And one indeed is hungry and another is drunk. What, have you no houses to eat and to drink in? Or despise ye the church of God and put them to shame that have not? What shall I say to you? Do I praise you? In this I praise you not.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread, And giving thanks, broke and said: Take ye and eat: This is my body, which shall be delivered for you. This do for the commemoration of me. In like manner also the chalice, after he had supped, saying: This chalice is the new testament in my blood. This do ye, as often as you shall drink, for the commemoration of me. For as often as you shall eat this bread and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.
Therefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord. Therefore are there many infirm and weak among you: and many sleep. But if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But whilst we are judged, we are chastised by the Lord, that we be not condemned with this world.
GRADUAL (Philipp. 2:8-9)
For us Christ became obedient to death, even to death on a cross.
V. Therefore God also has exalted Him and has bestowed upon Him the name that is above every name.
GOSPEL (John 13:1-15)
Before the festival day of the pasch, Jesus knowing that his hour was come, that he should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And when supper was done (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him), Knowing that the Father had given him all things into his hands and that he came from God and goeth to God, He riseth from supper and layeth aside his garments and, having taken a towel, girded himself. After that, he putteth water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. He cometh therefore to Simon Peter. And Peter saith to him: “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him: “What I do, thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” Peter saith to him: “Thou shalt never wash my feet“. Jesus answered him: “If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with me.” Simon Peter saith to him: “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus saith to him: “He that is washed needeth not but to wash his feet, but is clean wholly. And you are clean, but not all.” For he knew who he was that would betray him; therefore he said: “You are not all clean.”
Then after he had washed their feet and taken his garments, being set down again, he said to them: “Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord. And you say well: for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON (Ps. 117:16, 17)
The right hand of the Lord has exercised power, the right hand of the Lord has lifted me up. I shall not die, but live, and shall declare the works of the Lord.
O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty and Eternal God, may our sacrifice be acceptable to You through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who on this day commanded His disciples to perform this rite in commemoration of Him; who lives and rules with You . . .
COMMUNION ANTIPHON (John 13:12, 13, 15)
The Lord Jesus, after He had eaten the supper with His disciples, washed their feet, and said to them, “Do you know what I, your Lord and Master, have done to you? I have given you an example, that you also should do.”
We are nourished by the Bread of Life, O Lord our God. may this most sacred rite of our mortal life bestow upon us Your gift of immortality. Through Our Lord . . .
The Blessed Sacrament is carried by the celebrant in procession to the altar of repose. while the Pange lingua is sung.
THE STRIPPING OF THE ALTARS
During the Stripping of the Altars, the celebrant recites the following antiphon and begins Psalm 21.
They have divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they have cast lots.
Psalm 21: O God my God, look upon me: why hast thou forsaken me? Far from my salvation are the words of my sins.
O my God, I shall cry by day, and thou wilt not hear: and by night, and it shall not be reputed as folly in me.
But thou dwellest in the holy place, the praise of Israel.
In thee have our fathers hoped: they have hoped, and thou hast delivered them.
They cried to thee, and they were saved: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
But I am a worm, and no man: the reproach of men, and the outcast of the people.
All they that saw me have laughed me to scorn: they have spoken with the lips, and wagged the head.
“He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, seeing he delighteth in him.”
For thou art he that hast drawn me out of the womb: my hope from the breasts of my mother.
I was cast upon thee from the womb. From my mother's womb thou art my God,
Depart not from me. For tribulation is very near: for there is none to help me.
Many calves have surrounded me: fat bulls have besieged me.
They have opened their mouths against me, as a lion ravening and roaring.
I am poured out like water; and all my bones are scattered. My heart is become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue hath cleaved to my jaws: and thou hast brought me down into the dust of death.
For many dogs have encompassed me: the council of the malignant hath besieged me. They have dug my hands and feet.
They have numbered all my bones. And they have looked and stared upon me.
They parted my garments amongst them; and upon my vesture they cast lots.
But thou, O Lord, remove not thy help to a distance from me; look towards my defense.
Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword: my only one from the hand of the dog.
Save me from the lion's mouth; and my lowness from the horns of the unicorns.
I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I praise thee.
Ye that fear the Lord, praise him: all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him.
Let all the seed of Israel fear him: because he hath not slighted nor despised the supplication of the poor man. Neither hath he turned away his face form me: and when I cried to him he heard me.
With thee is my praise in a great church: I will pay my vows in the sight of them that fear him.
The poor shall eat and shall be filled: and they shall praise the Lord that seek him: their hearts shall live for ever and ever.
All the ends of the earth shall remember, and shall be converted to the Lord: And all the kindreds of the Gentiles shall adore in his sight.
For the kingdom is the Lord's; and he shall have dominion over the nations.
All the fat ones of the earth have eaten and have adored: all they that go down to the earth shall fall before him.
And to him my soul shall live: and my seed shall serve him.
There shall be declared to the Lord a generation to come: and the heavens shall shew forth his justice to a people that shall be born, which the Lord hath made.
They have divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they have cast lots.
The altars are stripped at this time.