The Sacred Paschal Triduum refers to the three holiest days of the year. The three days are the Holy Thursday of the Lord’s Supper, the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion and the Holy Saturday of the Easter Vigil. All the ceremonies on these three days are only one single but continuous celebration.
On Holy Thursday morning the Bishop and his Priests celebrate the Chrism Mass during which priests renew their promises before their bishop. It is a special day for the entire priests throughout the world. It is our general anniversary. At the same ceremony the three different oils used by the church namely; Oil of Chrism, Oil of Catechumen and Oil of the Sick are blessed. In the evening of the same day the Holy Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated. Consequently, three events are involved on Holy Thursday: the Institution of the Holy Eucharist, the Institution of the Holy Orders and the Call for Fraternal Charity and Service.
On the night of the Passover meal, Christ instituted the Eucharist and called on his disciples (his Priests) and all of us to continue to celebrate this great mystery in his memory. Through the ministry of the priesthood, Christ is made present to his people. This fulfills his promise to be with us always till the end of time.
In the Holy Orders the Priest performs a three-fold role as Priest that sanctifies his people through Prayers and the Sacraments, as Prophet that teaches and admonish his people, and as King who leads his people just like a shepherd leads and guides his flock.
Finally, the last event is that of the Washing of Feet which expresses Fraternal Charity and Service. As Jesus said: “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20: 28). By virtue of our baptism, we all are called to this fraternal charity and humble service to one another, both in good and in bad times. We need to exercise this function more at this time of COVID-19 pandemic, though with extreme precaution.
As I celebrate the Holy Thursday event with our deacon, I assure you of my prayers and God’s blessings and protection. Remember that Confession is by appointment. You may call the office. Be safe and remain blessed.