Holy Thursday (Last Supper: cf. Matthew 26:17-30; Mark: 14:12-25: Luke 22:7-39; John 13-18:1; 1 Corinthians 11:23-9. Agony in the Garden : cf. Matthew 26:30-56; Mark: 14: 26-52; Luke 22:39-54; John 18:1-14.)
On the morning of Holy Thursday (in some dioceses it may be another morning during Holy Week), the bishop and the priests of the diocese gather at the cathedral to celebrate the Chrism Mass. This Mass emphasizes the unity of the priests with their bishop. At this Mass, the bishop consecrates three oils—the oil of catechumens (oleum catechumenorum or oleum sanctum), the oil of the infirm (oleum infirmorum) and sacred chrism (sacrum chrisma)—which will be used in the administration of the sacraments throughout the diocese for the year.
In Cena Domini, “At the Lord’s Supper,” is the name by which this day is known. The title, accordingly, points out the principal event commemorated: the institution of the blessed Eucharist at the Last Supper (Parsch, 318). Immediately after, Jesus consecrates the bread and wine into His body and blood, and He institutes the priesthood by saying: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19b).
On this sacred evening only one Mass may be offered in a given church and the Mass stands as a repetition of the Last Supper. The celebrant imitates Christ’s act of divine humility showing how His commandment of love must be fulfilled by serving others in the washing of the feet. After Mass, the blessed Sacrament is processed to the repository which is symbolic of the Garden of Gethsemane. Just before our Lord’s arrest, can we stay awake and be one hour with Him in prayer unlike His apostles?
By courtesy of Catholic World Report.
Artwork: Jesus Washing the Feet of his Disciples, Albert Edelfelt