COMMEMORATING THE INSTITUTION OF PRIESTHOOD AND THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST BY CHRIST
Thursday of Holy Week (traditionally referred to as Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday) is when the Church celebrates the three pillars of the Catholic Church instituted by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper: the priesthood, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and the Holy Eucharist. This is the traditional day for priests to gather with their bishop at the Chrism Mass, to receive oils blessed by the bishop and to publicly renew their priestly promises. In the evening the Church celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. After this Mass the altar is stripped bare, and the Blessed Sacrament is removed from the Tabernacle and processed to a separate altar of repose. Here the Blessed Sacrament is adored until late in the night to commemorate the time Jesus spent in Garden of Gethsemane in agonizing prayer, the start of his Passion. The Blessed Sacrament is then taken away and hidden until the Easter Vigil in memory of Our Lord’s death and burial.
Holy Thursday marks the beginning of Easter Triduum. This three-day celebration of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the holy summit of the Catholic Church’s Liturgical Year. This period spans from the evening of Holy Thursday to the evening of Easter Sunday. Though chronologically three days, they are liturgically one day unfolding for us the unity of Christ’s Paschal Mystery. More info on Easter Triduum can be found here on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops web site.
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – A HOUR WITH THE LORD
The month of April is traditionally dedicated to devotion to Jesus in the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. The Catholic Church teaches that the Blessed Sacrament is the real and living presence of Christ—His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—received into our souls with every reception of Holy Communion. Our Eucharistic Lord is the source and summit of our Christian life, the ultimate proof of His infinite love for us. This means you can spend one last hour before the Lord in the Church. Even hidden in the Tabernacle do not be mistaken–He is very present, and adoration still can be done.
On behalf of our Council, we wish you a blessed Easter Triduum and hope these above resources helps you to continue to practice our Catholic Faith during these times of challenges and duress especially during the highest and holiest days of our Liturgical year. Your participation in Christ’s works through practicing our Faith helps to contribute to His kingdom through praise and worship. Together we can continue to trust in Christ and entrust the sick, the faithfully departed, and all people in our lives to God through prayer. Vivat Jesus!