Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Thursday

Tapestry of the Last Supper at the Vatican Museum
The feast of the Eucharist and the Priesthood is commemorated today at the celebration of Holy Thursday. This is artistically represented by another beautiful and ornate tapestry this time of the Last Supper, in a photograph I took at the Vatican Museums. On Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, Jesus instituted the Eucharist during the meal He hosted with his 12 apostles. It is strange that on the occasion of giving them his most precious gift, He also revealed that two of his apostles were not faithful to the end. Peter denied Him, while Judas betrayed Him. Peter at least had the opportunity to redeem himself, but Judas hug himself in desperation.
One of the Altars of Repose in Rabat, Malta
At the end of the evening Holy Thursday Mass which includes the foot-washing ceremony, a procession is held with the BlessedSacrament, which is then reposed in a decorated altar, separate from the main altar. A tradition that started with St Philip Neri in Rome is the visit of the 7 churches on the evening of Holy Thursday. Churches in Malta are very frequent so people could walk from one to the other or at least drive a short distance. However in some countries like Oregon, one has to drive a thousand miles to get to 7 Catholic churches, since we are so spread out. Yet the Maltese churches decorate the Altar of Repose with a beautiful display of flowers, candles, angels and other Eucharistic symbols, a seen in these photos I took 5 years ago.
Altar of Repose in my childhood church at St Julian's, Malta

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