The Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated at 6:30 PM, with the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose. We have private prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament until 9:00 PM. Confessions are available during this time.
Holy Thursday is more than just the lead-in to Good Friday; it is, in fact, the oldest of the celebrations of Holy Week. And with good reason: Holy Thursday is the day on which Catholics commemorate the institution of three pillars of the Catholic Faith: the Sacrament of Holy Communion, the priesthood, and the Mass.
During the Last Supper, Christ blessed the bread and wine with the very words that Catholic and Orthodox priests use today to consecrate the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass and the Divine Liturgy. In telling His disciples to “Do this in remembrance of Me,” He instituted the Mass and made them the first priests.
Near the end of the Last Supper, after Judas had departed, Christ said to His disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” The Latin word for “commandment,” mandatum became the source for another name for Holy Thursday: Maundy Thursday.
Image: The Last Supper, a mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci (1494-1499) in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan.