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Holy Thursday

April 17, 2014


Blessed Holy Thursday!

We begin at noon, at the cathedral, as our bishop, our successor to the apostles,
gathers his brother priests to celebrate the Chrism Mass.
At this Mass, chrism, the perfumed oil
which is used to signify the indelible gift of the Holy Spirit
in the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation and Holy Orders,
will be consecrated.
As Christ (literally, “the anointed one”) was anointed priest, prophet and king
(see Exodus 29: 1-9, I Kings 19:16, Samuel 10:1 & 16:1-13, Acts 10:38),
so are Christians–with chrism.
The Oil of Catechumens and the Oil of the Sick will be blessed at this Mass,
and priests will renew their commitment to the ordained priesthood
which Christ instituted on this day when He commanded His first bishops,

Do this in remembrance of Me
~Luke 22:19

Chrism Mass

Entrance Antiphon:
Jesus Christ has made us into a kingdom, priests for His God and Father.
To Him be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

O God, who anointed Your Only Begotten Son with the Holy Spirit
and made Him Christ and Lord,
graciously grant,
that, being made sharers in His consecration,
we may bear witness to Your redemption in the world.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Readings for the Mid-day Chrism Mass:
Isaiah 61:1-9 (The Lord anointed me to bring glad tidings to the lowly)
Psalm 89:21-22, 25-27 “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”
Revelation 1:5-8 (Christ has made us into a Kingdom, priests for His God and Father)
+Luke 4:16-21 (The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me)

Thank God for priests!

His Holy Spirit
rests on them:
as they are,
with holy oil
to bring glad tidings
to the poor,
release to captives,
sight to blind.

They give us crowns
in place of ashes;
oil of gladness
when we mourn.
They wield the keys
that set us free
from sin–
they have an “in”
with God–
and He has promised
a reward.

Do I thank God for the priests through whom He’s ministered to me–even if they get on my nerves?

The Sacred Triduum

At long last we enter the Sacred Triduum,
literally “three days” that form a single celebration
of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We see, hear, we smell, we taste, we touch
–we are immersed–
in the mysteries of our salvation.
There are significant intermissions in this one celebration, so that we can go home and rest,
but the celebration we begin tonight will not end until Easter Sunday.
This is the culmination, the highest point, of the entire year.
Come, let us worship…

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper

Entrance Antiphon:
We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.

O God, who have called us to participate
in this most sacred Supper,
in which Your Only Begotten Son,
when about to hand Himself over to death,
entrusted to the Church a sacrifice new for all eternity.
the banquet of His love,
grant, we pray, that we may draw from so great a mystery,
the fullness of charity and of life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14 (the first Passover)
Psalm 116:12-14, 15-18 “Our blessing-cup is a communion with the blood of Christ”
I Corinthians 11:23-26 (the institution of the Eucharist)
+John 13:1-15 (Jesus washes His disciples’ feet)

In order for destruction
to pass over us
we must fulfill
the ritual.

We have to let
our Savior
wash our feet
in the confessional
and then pass on
the gift
by washing
other dirty feet
in preparation
for the feast.

The Lamb is slain!
and we partake
with bitter herbs
of penitence–
His Blood
upon the doorposts
of our lips,
our staff in hand,
prepared for flight…
this is the night!

Do I expect to have a share in Jesus without letting Him wash my feet–His way?
Am I prepared for action, prepared to break free from the slavery of sin through the new Passover–
Jesus’ Passion re-presented in the holy sacrifice of the Mass?

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