What you need to know about Holy Thursday

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March 28, 2024    By Country Radio   

What you need to know about Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper is March 28th, 2024.

What does Holy Thursday Commemorate?

Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he established the sacrament of Holy Communion prior to his arrest and crucifixion. It also commemorates His institution of the priesthood. The holy day falls on the Thursday before Easter and is part of Holy Week.  Jesus celebrated the dinner as a Passover feast.  Christ would fulfill His role as the Christian victim of the Passover for all to be saved by His final sacrifice.

The Last Supper was the final meal Jesus shared with his Disciples in Jerusalem and during this Passover meal,Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, gave thanks,and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.  I tell you, from now on I shall not drink this fruit of the vine until the day when I drink it with you new in the kingdom of my Father.” 

Mathew 26:26-29

It is believed those who eat of Christ’s flesh and blood shall have eternal life. 

Christ also establishes the special priesthood for his disciples, which is distinct from the “priesthood of all believers.”  Christ washed the feet of his Disciples, who would become the first priests.

So when he had washed their feet [and] put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, “Do you realize what I have done for you?   You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘master,’ and rightly so, for indeed I am.  
If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet.  I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.”

John 13:12-15

Reenactments at the Mass on Holy Thursday

The central observance of Holy Thursday is the ritual reenactment of the Last Supper at Mass. This event is celebrated at every Mass, as part of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but it is specially commemorated on Holy Thursday.  

Also, during the Mass on Holy Thursday, the establishment of the priesthood is reenacted with the priest washing the feet of several parishioners.  The congregation is welcome to participate in the washing of the feet.
At the end of the Holy Thursday Mass, the Body of Christ is brought in procession to the lower church and placed on a temporary “Altar of Repose” away from the sanctuary.It is customary for the faithful to process together to this altar and spend time in quiet prayer and adoration.

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