It was on a maundy Thursday, and all in the morning,
They planted a crown of thorns on our heavenly King.
And was not this a woeful thing,
And sweet Jesus we'll call him by name.
Tonight begins the Paschal Triduum, preceded by the "Chrism Mass" in the morning, when all the priests of the diocese are assembled to concelebrate Mass with their bishop, to renew their obedience to him, and to receive the newly-blessed sacred oils.
The evening parishes will celebrate the "Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper," when the "new commandment" is commemorated through the washing of feet.
Well, in some places, anyway. The rubrics stipulate that only men can have their feet washed, so some bishops are side-stepping the issue by allowing parishes the option of a food collection for the poor, in lieu of performing the "mandatum" correctly. I wrote about this in March of last year, in a piece entitled "Clean Livin' and Fancy Footwork." People who really want to know what they're talking about (and from what I've read, that isn't very many) should give it a once-over.