Why Holy Thursday Has Been A Special Day for Me

I have always loved today, Holy Thursday. Probably one of the main reasons why I loved this day is that I normally would be able to serve at Mass on this day. The seriousness of this day makes joy that I have different from that of Christmas. The excitement is rooted in the event that will take place on Sunday—Jesus’s resurrection. Holy Thursday marks the beginning of the Triduum, the beginning of Jesus Passion. The evening mass marks the beginning of Jesus’s redemption for all of mankind.

Being able to serve that mass has made this reality particularly evident to myself. Something that has always been a powerful reminder for myself is the washing of the feet and the consecration bringing to life the events at the Last Supper. This is what it was like at the Last Supper. Also the procession of the Eucharist at the end of mass has been a powerful image of the departure to Gethsemane. Finally, the stripping of the alter, with the tabernacle empty along with the doors open. There is just something missing in that dismal church. There is Someone missing. What a cross for Mary to carry. After being with her Son for 33 years (minus three days), now He is gone. Her life must have been feeling like it had lost its focal point. It must have been a bleak life, just like the bleak church.

This is the time of redemption for all of mankind. Jesus had to correct what Adam had failed to do. This did not only entail a death on the cross, but was completed in the triumph over death.

Drawing by Catherine Theresa


  1. Awesome post, Nick! What blows me away on Holy Thursday is the huge, stark contrast between how we begin Holy Thursday and how we end it. I don’t really remember what it’s like in Novus Ordo, but in the Extraordinary Rite we start with the organ and the bells and a whole bunch of grandness, but by the time we come to the ending—wow. The altars have been stripped, Our Lord rests at the astonishingly decorated Altar of Repose… It’s just amazing.


  2. Tonight my sister was commenting how all three celebrations of the Triduum are one big Liturgy; there is no closing blessing to Holy Thursday Mass, there is no opening or closing rite to the Good Friday service, and there is no real opening to the Easter Vigil either. It’s all one big Liturgy, which just adds to the solemnity of what we’re celebrating during the Triduum.


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