Maundy Thursday

April 17, 2014

HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances, saving only the Easter Vigil. It celebrates both the institution by Christ himself of the Eucharist and of the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood (as distinct from the ‘priesthood of all believers’) for in this, His last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover, He is the self-offered Passover Victim, and every ordained priest to this day presents this same sacrifice, by Christ’s authority and command, in exactly the same way. The Last Supper was also Christ’s farewell to His assembled disciples, some of whom would betray, desert or deny Him before the sun rose again.

On Holy Thursday there is a special Mass in Cathedral Churches, attended by as many priests of the diocese as can attend, because it is a solemn observance of Christ’s institution of the priesthood. At this ‘Chrism Mass’ the bishop blesses the Oil of Chrism used for Baptism and Confirmation. The bishop may wash the feet of twelve of the priests, to symbolize Christ’s washing the feet of his Apostles, the first priests.

The Holy Thursday liturgy, celebrated in the evening because Passover began at sundown, also shows both the worth God ascribes to the humility of service, and the need for cleansing with water (a symbol of baptism) in the Mandatum, or washing in Jesus’ washing the feet of His disciples, and in the priest’s stripping and washing of the altar. Cleansing, in fact, gave this day of Holy Week the name Maundy Thursday.

The action of the Church on this night also witnesses to the Church’s esteem for Christ’s Body present in the consecrated Host in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, carried in solemn procession to the flower-bedecked Altar of Repose, where it will remain ‘entombed’ until the communion service on Good Friday. No Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil proclaims the Resurrection.

And finally, there is the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by the people during the night, just as the disciples stayed with the Lord during His agony on the Mount of Olives before the betrayal by Judas.Pope Francis washes the foot of a young offender during last year's Holy Thursday Mass at Rome's Casal del Marmo prison (CNS) Below: A video of last year's ceremony (RomeReports)

Pope Francis washes the foot of a young offender during last year’s Holy Thursday Mass at Rome’s Casal del Marmo prison (CNS)

 

**Pope Francis will celebrate the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper at a Rome rehabilitation facility for the elderly and people with disabilities.

He will preside over the Holy Thursday evening Mass and foot-washing ritual at the Father Carlo Gnocchi Foundation’s Our Lady of Providence Center on the outskirts of Rome, the Vatican announced on April 8.

Last year, the pope celebrate the Holy Thursday liturgy at Rome’s Casal del Marmo juvenile detention center, where he washed the feet of young male and female offenders.

Moving the Holy Thursday evening ceremony out of either St. Peter’s Basilica or the Basilica of St John Lateran marked a change in papal tradition, but it reflected the traditional practice of then-Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. The future pope used to celebrate the Mass of the Lord’s Supper — which reflects on the call to imitate Christ by serving one another — in prisons, hospitals or shelters for the poor and marginalised.


Good Friday

April 17, 2014

479502887 275a9098eb Interesting Good Friday Images

On Good Friday, the entire Church fixes her gaze on the Cross at Calvary. Each member of the Church tries to understand at what cost Christ has won our redemption. In the solemn ceremonies of Good Friday, in the Adoration of the Cross, in the chanting of the ‘Reproaches’, in the reading of the Passion, and in receiving the pre-consecrated Host, we unite ourselves to our Savior, and we contemplate our own death to sin in the Death of our Lord.

The Church – stripped of its ornaments, the altar bare, and with the door of the empty tabernacle standing open – is as if in mourning. In the fourth century the Apostolic Constitutions described this day as a ‘day of mourning, not a day of festive joy,’ and this day was called the ‘Pasch (passage) of the Crucifixion.’

The liturgical observance of this day of Christ’s suffering, crucifixion and death evidently has been in existence from the earliest days of the Church. No Mass is celebrated on this day, but the service of Good Friday is called the Mass of the Presanctified because Communion (in the species of bread) which had already been consecrated on Holy Thursday is given to the people .

Traditionally, the organ is silent from Holy Thursday until the Alleluia at the Easter Vigil , as are all bells or other instruments, the only music during this period being unaccompanied chant.

The omission of the prayer of consecration deepens our sense of loss because Mass throughout the year reminds us of the Lord’s triumph over death, the source of our joy and blessing. The desolate quality of the rites of this day reminds us of Christ’s humiliation and suffering during his Passion. We can see that the parts of the Good Friday service correspond to the divisions of Mass:

  • Liturgy of the Word – reading of the Passion.
  • Intercessory prayers for the Church and the entire world, Christian and non-Christian.
  • Veneration of the Cross
  • Communion, or the ‘Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.’

The Veneration of the Cross

In the seventh century, the Church in Rome adopted the practice of Adoration of the Cross from the Church in Jerusalem, where a fragment of wood believed to be the Lord’s cross had been venerated every year on Good Friday since the fourth century. According to tradition, a part of the Holy Cross was discovered by the mother of the emperor Constantine, St. Helen, on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in 326. A fifth century account describes this service in Jerusalem. A coffer of gold-plated silver containing the wood of the cross was brought forward. The bishop placed the relic on the a table in the chapel of the Crucifixion and the faithful approached it, touching brow and eyes and lips to the wood as the priest said (as every priest has done ever since): ‘Behold, the Wood of the Cross.’

Adoration or veneration of an image or representation of Christ’s cross does not mean that we are actually adoring the material image, of course, but rather what it represents. In kneeling before the crucifix and kissing it we are paying the highest honor to the our Lord’s cross as the instrument of our salvation. Because the Cross is inseparable from His sacrifice, in reverencing His Cross we are, in effect, adoring Christ. Thus we affirm: ‘We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee because by Thy Holy Cross Thou has Redeemed the World.’

The Reproaches and the Reading of the Passion

The Reproaches (Improperia), are often chanted by a priest during the Good Friday service as the people are venerating the Cross. In this haunting and poignant poem-like chant of very ancient origin, Christ himself ‘reproaches’ us, making us more deeply aware of how our sinfulness and hardness of heart caused such agony for our sinless and loving Savior. A modern translation of the some of the Reproaches, originally in Latin follows:

My people, What have I done to you? How have I offended you? Answer me!
I led you out of Egypt; but you led your Savior to the Cross.
For forty years I led you safely through the desert,
I fed you with manna from heaven,
and brought you to the land of plenty; But you led your Savior to the Cross.
O, My people! What have I done to you that you should testify against me?

Holy God. Holy God. Holy Mighty One. Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us.

Three times during Holy Week the Passion is read – on Passion Sunday, Holy Thursday, and Good Friday. By very ancient tradition, three clergy read the three principal parts from the sanctuary: Jesus (always read by a priest), Narrator, and all the other individual parts. The people also have a role in this – we are those who condemn the Lord to death. Hearing our own voices say ‘Away with Him! Crucify him!’ heightens our consciousness of our complicity by our personal sinfulness in causing His death.


I Believe

April 16, 2014

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Finding Hope

April 16, 2014

Thinking about the many varied reasons why women think abortion is the only solution to the problem of their unborn child is not a topic that comes up very much with the vocal part of the pro-abortion section of society.

But for prolifers, it is extremely important to understand and try and solve the situations women find themselves in.  This article tackles one of the reasons why women seek abortions; domestic abuse.

http://www.lifenews.com/2014/04/15/video-highlights-the-link-between-abortion-and-domestic-violence/


World’s Toughest Job.

April 16, 2014

Encouraging Prolifers in the UK

April 16, 2014

Jill Stanek, an American former nurse is someone who provides this blog with much inspiration and information on how the US prolifers are fighting abortion, came to Ireland this past week.  She came to encourage the Irish after the fight they’ve had trying and failing to keep abortion out of Ireland.

Her story is one of  standing up for what is right no matter what it costs personally and listening to God’s word in your life.  Well worth listening to.


A Selfish Crime

April 14, 2014

“Abortion is the most selfish and abhorrent crime committed by man for two reasons: (1) its victims are so innocent and defenseless, and (2) the crime is so terribly brutal. What’s more, there is no more callous denial of God’s Being than abortion. In abortion, man sets himself up as God to decide who shall live and who shall die. But man deserves no such power, for the simple reason that man does not create himself. To think otherwise is to deny God His true Being as the Author of Life.”

~ Fr. Paul Marx, The Apostle of Life, pg XV


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