Today as Lent ends, and this Lent has been a time of trial indeed with our local Elections fiasco GECOM-20 and the arrival of the Sars-CoV-2 Coronavirus that causes the disease now known as COVID-19, as a church community, we cannot gather because of social distancing and curfew restriction placed on the populace in an effort to limit the spread of the disease.
Today marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter Triduum, many will either pray as families, or just be there for each other, or join with others online as today’s service is streamed live from the Bishop’s Chapel, as will services and masses for Good Friday, Easter Satrurday and Easter Sunday. I decided to look back a bit and share two images from a past Holy Thursday, from the Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; many images from these service resemble any other service, as the main services remain similar with but a few differences, the two images I share can easily be associated with the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper by Catholics.
Seen above is the re-enactment of the “Washing of the Feet”, a gesture that reinforces the idea that those we call Master are also there to serve. A reminder in these troubled times that those who are there in positions of Power, our elected officials, are there to Serve the people, not to be served by them.
This image shows Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB, Bishop of Georgetown, as he carries the monstrance containing the Blessed Eucharist to the Altar of Repose. On Holy Thursday, Catholics are asked to spend an hour in prayer at the altar, just as the Disciples were asked by Jesus to keep vigil with him as he prayed in the Garden at Gathsemane, at the foot of the Mount of Olives.
In troubled times we cling to tradition, but in these troubled times we cannot do so physically, we can but cling to the memories, and to the hope of a better future. Celebrate today the camaraderie of family, of friends, mourn tomorrow the death of a saviour, of the leadership we once knew or dreamed of, and on Easter, celebrate the life we have, the life we can give to others, the life we can nourish in the world. Holy Thursday also became popularly known as Maundy Thursday, the word Maundy was derived from the Latin word mandatum, meaning “commandment”, referring to the words of Jesus to his disciples that night “I give you a new commandment, love one another as I have loved you”, would that we all could do so, then a better future, a better world, we be ours.