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The Paschal Triduum - Maundy Thursday

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Tonight, in the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, we commemorated the very institution of the Mass itself, when Jesus gave to his disciples under the appearance of bread and wine his very body and blood: that body which was to hang the next day upon the cross, that blood which poured from his side for the redemption of the human race.

Recorded live at Mass this evening in Blackfriars, here are the last two verses of St Thomas Aquinas’ great hymn in honour of the Eucharist, the well known Tantum ergo: these were sung as all present venerated the Blessed Sacrament which had been placed on the Altar of Repose, where many people, even as I write, are still kneeling in prayer before Jesus, present in the Sacrament:

This great gift of God's love, by which he is truly present among us as the one who offered himself in sacrifice for our sins, invites of us in turn a response of love: at the Last Supper, we read in today's Gospel, Jesus washed his disciples feet as a sign of his loving care for them, a sign which we repeat liturgically when the priest washes the feet of representatives of the congregation, but which each of us is also called to imitate by living a life which shows forth that gift of love which we receive sacramentally in the Most Holy Eucharist.


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