Thursday, April 13, 2006


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.


Anonymous said...

"Today begins the Paschal Triduum, beginning with the "Chrism Mass" in the morning..."

Since it seems that you favor following the rubrics, it might be good to point out that the Triduum begins with the Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper and not with the Chrism Mass. Lent ends and the Triduum begins after sundown on Holy Thursday.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Not to pile on, but the mandatum (the washing of feet) there is precedent for considering the washing of feet to be something that may be omitted; so the sacramentary says, although the 1988 norms on the Triduum is -- to my reading at least -- unclear as to whether it's making it mandatory or not.

I'd say this: if you're not going to do it right, better not to do it at all. And if its going to be a battle in a parish, I could see a pastor thinking, the battle over this one part will distract from more substantial matters...

Just a thought, fwiw...