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Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday
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  • Feast Day: April 18th

Holy Thursday also known as Maundy Thursday, and is the Christian feast of the Thursday before Easter.  It commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical Gospels.  It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is followed by Good Friday.  The date is always between March 19, and April 22.  The Liturgy held on the evening of Holy Thursday initiates the Easter Triduum, the period, which commemorates the passion, death and resurrection of Christ.  This period includes Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter.  The Mass or Service of Worship is normally celebrated in the evening on Holy Thursday.  

Holy Thursday is notable for being the day on which the Chrism Mass is celebrated in each Diocese. It is generally held at the Diocese’s Cathedral.  In that Mass the Holy Oils are blessed by the Bishop, consisting of the Chrism Oil of the sick, and the Oil of Catechumens.  The oil of the catechumens and Chrism are to be used on the coming Holy Saturday at the Easter Vigil for the Baptism and Confirmation of those entering the Church.  

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper begins as usual, but the Gloria is accompanied by the ringing of the bells.  After the Homily, the “Washing of the Feet” is a traditional component of the evening Mass on Holy Thursday.  The Mass concludes with a procession taking the Blessed Sacrament to the place of reposition.  The Altar is later stripped bare, as are all other altars in the Church except the Altar of Repose.  This is done in preparation for the somber Good Friday services.  Holy Thursday, at the Lord’s Last Supper, is when the Holy Eucharist was truly implemented into the Church.