HOLY WEEK (THE PASSION WEEK) – EASTER TRIDUUM: HOLY THURSDAY (MANDY THURSDAY) & GOOD FRIDAY

PART 1: HOLY THURSDAY

Dear friends in Christ, with today being Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday as it is traditionally called), we have successfully stepped into the most important and solemn period in the Church’s liturgical calendar, which ushers us to the celebration of Easter, the Mother of all Celebrations. This period is known as Easter/Paschal Triduum. It is important to note that the word “Triduum” originates from Latin. It is used to refer to a period of three days of prayer before a feast. Thus, Easter Triduum refers to the activities of the Church during the three days preceding Easter. Thus, we talk about Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday.

Maundy Thursday gets its name from the Latin word “mandatum,” which means “commandment.” According to Christian tradition, near the end of the Last Supper, after the disciple Judas had departed, Christ said to the remaining disciples, “I give you a new commandment: love one another, as I have loved you” (John 13:34). The Latin term became the Middle English word Maundy by way of the Old French “mande.” The Church lives out Christ’s commandment to love one another in a number of ways through her traditions on Maundy Thursday. The best-known way is the ‘washing of the feet’ of laymen by their priest during the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, which recalls Christ’s washing of the feet of His disciples, as we see in today’s Gospel Reading (cf. John 13:1-15). Aside from celebrating Jesus’ mandate (commandment) of love on this day, we also celebrate the anniversary of the institution of the Holy Eucharist, the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood, and also the institution of the Ministerial Priesthood in order to perpetuate the Holy Mass, convey God’s forgiveness to repentant sinners and preach the Good News of Salvation. This was brought about by Christ who transformed the Jewish Passover into the New Testament Passover.

On Holy Thursday, we remember the Lord’s Last Supper with his Apostles, in which He institutes the Sacrament of His body and blood (Holy Eucharist) – “TAKE AND EAT, THIS IS MY BODY…THIS IS MY BLOOD…DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME” (Matt. 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20; {Cf: 1Cor. 11:23-25}). With these words, Jesus chose his apostles to serve and lead the Church; put differently, Jesus ordains His Apostles as priests of the New Covenant, in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross – only a priest can offer gifts and sacrifice. To this day, the catholic priest continues to act “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and re-enacts the sacrifice offered once and for all by Christ in His memory (“Do this in memory of me” 1Cor.11:25). This is known as the priesthood of Christ in the order of Melchizedek and should not be likened to the Levite priesthood of the Old Testament. In fact, St. Paul tells us in 1Cor. 11:26-27 that whenever we eat the body and drink the blood of Christ, we proclaim his death, until He comes again. Therefore, Holy Thursday is a special day for all Catholic Priests, a day which marks the beginning of the ordained priesthood. The Mass is celebrated in the evening, and it’s a beautiful and joyful celebration. During the singing of the Gloria, the church bells are rung and then remain silent until the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday night.

Pin on +++ ART DEIThis is the night in which we also remember the betrayal and arrest of the Son of God by one of his newly ordained priests – Judas Iscariot (the highest of all priestly scandals). Fulton Sheen once said that “no other priestly scandal can surpass that of Judas Iscariot, which happened right there in the presence of Christ – Christ allowed satan to operate even in his newly formed Church in the upper room”. This indicates that the Church is a community of “saints and sinners”. Little wonder the Latin man exclaims: “ubi multitudinem, ibi peccata”: meaning, in the midst of multitudes, sin persists; this shall continue until the Kingdom of God comes; when the sheep would be separated from the goats, and there shall only be saints in the gathering of the faithful. With the arrest of Christ, the Church’s Altar, which signifies Christ is stripped of its beauty (altar clothes) and would remain bare until the “Gloria” of Easter Vigil.
Since Holy Thursday is a feast day of the Blessed Sacrament, there is a little procession of the Eucharist after the Mass to an altar of repose set up for the occasion. In this regard, we are encouraged to spend at least an hour with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament: “Stay here and keep vigil with me for an hour…” (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46).
PART 2: GOOD FRIDAY
On Good Friday we remember the death of Jesus. According to an ancient custom, Mass is not celebrated on this day or before the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. The celebration of the Lord’s passion and death takes place in the afternoon. There are three parts to the liturgy of the day: the Liturgy of the Word; the Veneration of the Cross; and Holy Communion (which had been consecrated on Holy Thursday).
On this day, we recall how Jesus Christ was given up to death, a death he freely accepted; in fact, a shameful death by crucifixion as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10).
What then is so good about “Good Friday” since the Son of God suffered and died a shameful death by crucifixion on the cross? Why not “Dark Friday” or “Bad Friday”, or any negative concept we could term it?

Although in Portuguese, we have a similar expression: “Sexta-Feira Santa” (i.e. Holy Friday); in English, however, the origin of the term “Good” is debated: some believe it developed from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Regardless of the origin, the name Good Friday is entirely appropriate because, the suffering and death of Jesus, as terrible as it was, marked the dramatic culmination of God’s plan to save his people from their sins. Paradoxically, the day that seemed to be the greatest triumph of evil was actually the death blow in God’s glorious plan to redeem the world from bondage.

The cross is where we see the convergence of great suffering and God’s forgiveness. Psalms 85:10 sings of a day when “justice and peace” will “embrace each other.” The cross of Jesus is where that occurred; where God’s demands (His justice), coincided with his mercy. We receive divine forgiveness, mercy, and peace because Jesus willingly took our divine punishment, the result of God’s justice against sin. In other words, God tampered his justice with mercy.
For Christians, Good Friday is a crucial day of the year because it celebrates what we believe to be the most momentous weekend in the history of the world. Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).

Above all, Good Friday is good/holy because it marks the day when mercy and faithfulness met at the cross; a day when the Lord favoured his land (the earth), and revived the fortunes of those who believe in Him; a day in which He forgave the guilt of His people and covered all their sins; a day which God averted His rage and calmed the heat of His anger through the dying words of Christ: forgive them Father, for they do not know what they are doing (Lk. 23:34).

“WE ADORE YOU O CHRIST AND WE PRAISE YOU; BECAUSE BY YOUR HOLY CROSS YOU HAVE REDEEMED THE WORLD”

“…And I love that old Cross
where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain
So I’ll cherish the old rugged Cross
Till my trophies, at last, I lay down
I will cling to the old rugged Cross
And exchange it someday for a crown”

—PAUSE FOR A MOMENT—

LITANY OF THE PASSION OF CHRIST – FOR HOLY WEEK

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us!
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us!
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us!
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us!

Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us! (repeat the response for the rest of the invocations)
Jesus, hated by the world…
Jesus, sold by thirty silver coins…
Jesus, prostrate in prayer…
Jesus, reinforced by an angel…
Jesus, agonizing in blood sweat…
Jesus, betrayed by Judas…
Jesus, abandoned by His disciples…
Jesus, before Anás and Caiaphas…
Jesus, accused of false witnesses…
Jesus, declared worthy of death…
Jesus, spit in the face…
Jesus, wounded on his face…
Jesus, denied three times by Peter…
Jesus, delivered to Pilate…
Jesus, despised and ridiculed by Herod…
Jesus, wounded by our sins…
Jesus, covered with a purple robe…
Jesus, crowned with thorns…
Jesus, cruelly scourged by the whip…
Jesus, sentenced to death…
Jesus, delivered to His enemies…
Jesus, carried with the heavy cross…
Jesus, taken as a lamb for slaughter…
Jesus, stripped of his garments…
Jesus, stuck with nails to the cross…
Jesus, wounded by our iniquities…
Jesus, reputed with the wicked…
Jesus, who granted paradise to the thief…
Jesus, who delivered his Blessed Mother to St. John, as his mother…
Jesus, who committed his Spirit into his Father’s hands…
Jesus, obedient to the Father`s will unto death…
Jesus, pierced with a spear…
Jesus, taken down from the cross…
Jesus, placed in the sepulcher…
Jesus, rising gloriously from the dead…

Of all evil, free us, O Jesus.
Of all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; Forgive us, o Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; Hear us, o Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.

We adore you o Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world!

LET US PRAY

Lord Jesus Christ, as we celebrate your suffering, death, and resurrection this Holy Week, we ask you this day for the blessing and conversion of our hearts. As we participate in the events of the chief mysteries of our salvation, may we come to fully appreciate the Father`s love for the world, and may we reciprocate this love by keeping your commandments, loving the Lord our God with all our heart, strength, soul, and might, and our neighbours for your sake. As we celebrate your glorious resurrection at Easter, may we come to continually share in the divine life which you have prepared for us. You who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God forever and ever. Amen.

Blessing+

The Lord be with you….

May Almighty God bless you, + the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Peace be with you…

WATCH OUT FOR PART 3: HOLY SATURDAY/VIGIL OF EASTER

Shalom!

Fr. Chinaka Justin Mbaeri, OSJ
nozickcjoe@gmail.com / fadacjay@gmail.com
___________________________________
PS: Have you prayed your Rosary today?

NEVER MISS AN UPDATE AGAIN.

Subscribe to latest posts via email.


Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith. More about him here.

View all posts
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Emmanuella
Emmanuella
4 months ago

And with your spirit

Lawrence Okonofua
Lawrence Okonofua
4 months ago

Thank You Lord for the privilege of continuing enlightenment. May the lessons impact on our lives and living!!!

Paul Yashim
Paul Yashim
4 months ago

And with your spirit

Adaeze
Adaeze
4 months ago

… and with your Spirit. Amen

4
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x