On Holy Thursday night, we celebrate the Institution of the Holy Eucharist (as we recall the Last Supper) and the Mandatum (the call to service we see in the ritual of the washing of the feet.) This year we have the opportunity to join with the Archdiocese of Chicago to view the service from Holy Name on-line at 5pm tonight (or to watch the recording later) at: https://radiotv.archchicago.org/television/broadcast-masses.
To prepare for this service, we can take some time today, as the people of St. Matthew Parish, to reflect on the meaning of Holy Thursday that we may prepare ourselves to enter into the services of the Triduum. While online is a new way for us to gather and we’re all learning as we go, we hope you find these mini-reflections and music to be helpful. The songs are on YouTube, so you may need to skip past ads. While not ideal, we hope you find these helpful as we enter this Triduum.
Glory in the Cross: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeQ_bhSjTf4
Perhaps one of the most powerful images in the Holy Thursday liturgy is the washing of the feet. Jesus kneels at the feet of the Twelve and washes them. We note, scripture tells us it is the Twelve. Jesus will kneel and wash the feet of his betrayer, fully knowing what will happen.
As I have done for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGgb8Q_C1iE
Why does He do this? He shows us what we must do as His followers. We too must kneel in service. The act of kneeling is the bending of our will. It is uncomfortable, it is humbling and yet that is what true service is: bending our will, meeting the need of the other without judging their worthiness. Note too that He didn’t stop at one, but continued to all of the Twelve, even the one who will hand Him over to death. Service isn’t a “one and done”. It doesn’t put us in the place of honor. True service demands humility, the bending of my will to meet the need of the other: to do as Jesus has done for us.
Ubi Caritas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wM07IeS84Eg
Holy Thursday evening leaves us in Gethsemane, joined with Jesus as He prays that this cup might pass and yet commits to do the Will of the Father. Let us spend time in prayer this evening as we too pray this time may pass and that we may also trust that God is with us even now.
Night Watch Meditation
To commemorate Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, it is traditional to stay awake and pray until midnight, if possible. The following is a suggested scripture reading and a list of songs of Taize from which you can choose.
"Be Still and Know," by Warner
"Stay with Me"
"Nada te Turbe"
"Behüte mich, Got"
"Bóg jest miłością"
"Dona nobis pacem"
"Bonum est confidere"
"O, Lord Hear My Prayer"
"Aber du weißt den Weg für mich"