Tonight at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday we begin the Paschal Triduum of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While most people are out working today at their respective jobs we, the nuns, are inside the monastery following the traditional customs of our monastic liturgical practices. As we keep silence throughout the day and pray the hours of the Divine Office there are noted differences to express the uniqueness and somberness of this special time. Many of the sung parts of our common prayer are omitted while other parts are said in silence versus aloud (so you have to be on your toes!). And we have the special custom of participating in the Mandatum, or Washing of the Feet within our community. The prioress, who represents Jesus in the community, performs the solemn task after the gospel reading from John 13:1-15 is chanted by a sister. To commemorate the Last Supper and the fellowship shared by the apostles with their beloved Servant-Master Jesus we have a special meal in silence with sacred music, while the refectory has been decorated with flowers and table cloths. Evening Prayer/Vespers is not said today since the Holy Mass takes its place in early evening, and the place of Reposition of the Blessed Sacrament is set up next to the nuns Mass Choir for adoration after the Mass until midnight. After that, our Lord is not seen again in public until we receive Him at Communion on Good Friday liturgy, then again, finally, at the Easter Vigil.
You can see we have much activity here inside our cloister walls. We are grateful that we have the opportunity to walk with our Lord and His Blessed Mother without the distractions of the world, and while we do we carry all of you and the needs of our world with us in our hearts.
Be sure to view the schedule of Triduum liturgies including Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday Liturgy, and the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.
Blessed Holy Thursday.