The Lord’s Supper (Maundy Thursday)
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper begins the action of the Easter Triduum. Triduum is a space of three days usually accompanying a church festival or holy days that are devoted to special prayer and observance. The Easter Triduum concludes with evening prayers Easter Sunday.
“Maundy Thursday” is another name for Holy Thursday. This comes from the word “mandatum” and refers to Jesus’ mandate. Jesus prayed on this night, a new commandment. That we all be one in loving one another. As a sign of this love, Christ Jesus, the servant, performed an act of love and service in washing the feet of his disciples.
Jesus’ mandate: WE DO THE SAME!
Whom have I served? Whom have I avoided serving? Has the imprint of Christ’s image been left on anything my hands have touched?
This Holy Thursday night, let’s take a good hard look at our hands, our feet, our hearts, our faces, our bodies and what we think of others?
Lord, wash not only my feet, wash me all over.
Today we offer some suggestions for you to join with the celebrations of Holy Thursday. The COVID19 restrictions means we will not be able to attend these events but we can press pause – and take time to remember at home with the people we live with or by ourselves.
Holy Thursday marks the official end to Lent.
Here is what Pope Francis says about this year’s Holy Week
What are the events we are invited to take part in on Holy Thursday?
Three significant events take place on Holy Thursday.
The Chrism Mass, blessing the Holy Oils
The Mass of the Lord’s Supper which includes the Washing of the Feet
Silhouette images and reading of John’s Gospel 13: 1-17
Foot Washing – The Spiritual Impact of a Servant’s Task
Live Adoration from Tyburn Convent UK
The invitation to remain with Jesus in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament at the conclusion of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, invites us, as the disciples were invited, to wait with Jesus and remember the Garden of Gethsemane.
You might like to spend some time using the Tyburn Convent live-streamed Adoration.
Music to sit and reflect with
Taize Stay Here
SYDNEY St Mary’s Cathedral
MELBOURNE St Patrick’s Cathedral
How can we remember Holy Thursday at home?
On Holy Thursday gather with those in your home or by yourself and to enjoy a meal remembering the sacredness of the food you eat. Offering thanks for those who brought this meal from the land to your plate.
Before you begin your meal, you might consider washing the feet or the hands of those gathered or spending time washing your own hands or feet remembering all those who are served by the hands or feet being washed.
Foot washing ceremonies exist in all major traditions. Jesus washes the feet of His disciples to show we are all equal in God’s eyes. (Jn 13:1-17) The message is to “love one another as I have loved you.”(Jn 13:34)
You can SYMBOLICALLY wash the feet of others through acts of service:
- Call someone and check how they are doing
- Engage in random acts of kindness
- Forgive someone who you may still be separated from
Anointing with Oil
You might like to consider anointing yourself and those who are with you at home with oil. The Oil of the Sick, Oil of Protection and Oil of Initiation. Blessed on the morning of Holy Thursday at the Chrism Mass, this year we cannot access this beautiful ceremony, so use the oils we have at home. Using Olive oil, essential oils etc., and with permission, cross the forehead, and/or hands of each person in the household asking for strength and blessings for each person. If alone acknowledge God’s presence with you and anoint yourself.
Words of Blessing
Blessed be God who heals us in Christ
Blessed be God who strengthens us in Christ.
Blessed be God who makes us whole, ‘Holy’ in Christ.
You might like to spend some time making your own unleavened bread to share with wine as you reflect on the Lord’s Supper. Click on the image below for the link to make unleavened bread.
Watch how to make this bread