To enlighten them that sit Illuminare his, qui in tein darkness, and in the shadow nebris et in umbra mortis of death : to direct our feet in sedent : * ad dirigendos pethe way of peace.

des nostros in viam pacis. Ant. But the traitor gave ANT. Traditor autem dethem a sign, saying : He that dit eis signum, dicens : I shall kiss, that is He; hold Quem osculatus fuero, ipse him fast.

est, tenete eum.

As soon as the Antiphon is finished, the Choir sings, to a most plaintive chant, the following words, which are continually on the lips of the Church during these three days:

Ň. Christ became, for our sakes, obedient unto death.

. Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem.

Immediately after this is said, in secret, the Pater noster, which is followed by the Psalm Miserere (page 338): it is recited with a suppressed voice, by alternate choirs. Finally, the first in dignity says the following Prayer.

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Look down, O Lord, we Respice, quæsumus, Dobeseech thee, upon this thy mine, super hanc familiam family, for which our Lord tuam, pro qua Dominus Jesus Christ hesitated not to noster Jesus Christus non be delivered into the hands of dubitavit manibus tradi nowicked men, and undergo the centium, et crucis subire punishment of the Cross : tormentum :

(then, the rest in secret :)

Who liveth and reigneth Qui tecum vivit et regnat, with thee, in the unity of the in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Holy Ghost, God, world with- Deus, per omnia sæcula out end, amen.

sæculorum, amen.

The gradual putting out the candles,—the taking the one that is left lighted, its being concealed and then shown again, the noise which is made at the end,—all these ceremonies have been already explained : see page 305.

THE MORNING. This is the first day of the Azymes, or Feast of the Unleavened Bread. At sun-set, the Jews must eat the Pasch in Jerusalem. Jesus is still in Bethania; but he will return to the City before the hour for the Paschal supper. The Law commands this; and, until he has abrogated the Law by the shedding of his Blood, he wishes to observe its ordinances. He therefore sends two of his Disciples to get everything ready for the Pasch, without, however, telling them the great Mystery, wherewith it is to terminate. We who know it, and that it was at this Last Supper that was instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we can understand why he sends Peter and John, in preference to any of the other Disciples, to prepare what is needed? Peter, who was the first to confess the Divinity of Jesus, represents Faith: and John, who leaned upon the breast of the Man-God, represents Love. The mystery, which is to be instituted at to-night's Supper, is revealed to Love by Faith. It is this that Jesus would have us learn from his choice of the two Apostles; but they themselves see not the intention of their Master.

Jesus, who knew all things, tells them by what sign they are to know the house, which he intends to honour with his presence: they have but to follow a man, whom they will see carrying a pitcher of water. The house to which this man is going, belongs to a rich Jew, who recognises Jesus as the Messias. The two Apostles apprise him of their Master's wishes; and immediately he puts at their disposal a large and richly furnished room. It was fitting, that the place,

1 St. Luke, xxii. 8.

where the most august Mystery was to be instituted, should be something above common. This Room, where the reality was to be substituted for all the ancient figures, was far superior to the Temple of Jerusalem. In it was to be erected the first Altar for the offering up of the clean oblation, foretold by the Prophet:1 in it was to commence the Christian Priesthood: in it, finally, fifty days later on, the Church of Christ, collected together and visited by the Holy Ghost, was to make herself known to the world, and promulgate the new and universal Covenant of God with men.

This favoured sanctuary of our Faith, is still venerated on Mount Sion. The Infidels have profaned it by their false worship, for even they look on it as a sacred place; but as though Divine Providence, which has mercifully preserved unto us so many traces of our Redeemer, would give us an earnest of better days to come,—this venerable sanctuary has been recently thrown open to several Priests of the Church, and they have even been permitted to offer up the Holy Sacrifice in the very place where the Eucharist was instituted.

During the course of the day, Jesus has entered Jerusalem, with the rest of his Disciples : he has found all things prepared.

The Paschal Lamb, after being first presented in the Temple, has been brought to the house, where Jesus is to celebrate the Supper: it is prepared, together with the wild lettuce and the unleavened bread. In a few hours, the Divine Master and his Disciples will be standing round the table, their loins girt, and staves in their hands; and, for the last time, they will observe the solemn rite prescribed by God to his people, when they first went forth from Egypt.

But let us wait for the hour of Mass, before going further into the details of this Last Supper. Mean

1 Malach. i. 11.

2 A


while, let us seek edification and instruction in two holy functions, which belong to this great day. The first is the Reconciliation of Penitents, which, although not now in use, needs to be described, in order that our readers may have a proper idea of the Lenten Liturgy. The second is the Consecration of the Holy Oils, which is a ceremony confined to Cathedral Churches, but so interesting to the Faithful, that we should have scrupled to have excluded it from our volume. After having briefly described these, we will return to the history of the Institution of the Blessed Sacrament, and assist at Mass. Then we shall have to speak of the preparation for the Mass of the Presanctified for to-morrow's service, of the Stripping the Altars, and of the Mandatum, or Washing of the Feet. We proceed, therefore, to explain these several ceremonies, which make Maundy Thursday to be one of the most sacred days of the Liturgical Year.


Three solemn Masses were anciently celebrated on this day; and the first was preceded by the absolution of the public Penitents, and their re-admission into the Church. The following was the order of the service for the Reconciliation of Penitents. They presented themselves at the Church-door, clad in penitential garb, and bare-footed. The hair of both head and beard had been allowed to grow from Ash Wednesday, the day on which they had received their penance. The Bishop recited, in the sanctuary, the seven Psalms, in which David expresses his sorrow for having offended God.

These were followed by the Litany of the Saints.

During these prayers, the Penitents were prostrate in the porch, for entrance into the Church was

forbidden them. Thrice during the Litany, the Bishop deputed some of the clergy to go and visit them, in his name, and bear them words of hope and consolation. The first time, two Sub-Deacons went to them and said : As I live, saith the Lord, I will not the death of the sinner, but rather that he be converted and live. The second time, two other Sub-Deacons were sent, with this message: Thus saith the Lord : Do penance ; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Finally, a Deacon was commissioned to go to them, and say: Lift up your heads ; lo ! your redemption is nigh.

After these announcements of approaching pardon, the Bishop left the Sanctuary and went towards the Penitents, as far as half way down the centre nave, where was prepared a seat, turned towards the door which led into the porch, where the Penitents were still lying prostrate. The Pontiff being seated the Archdeacon addressed him in these words :

Venerable Pontiff ! The acceptable time has come, the day of God's mercy and of man's salvation, when death was destroyed, and eternal life began. This is the time, when, in the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth, new plants are to be set, and the detestableness of the old growth is to be pruned away. For though there be no period of time, which is not rich in the goodness and mercy of God, yet now indulgence produces a more abundant remission of sins, and grace yields a more plentiful number of the regenerated. Those that are regenerated add to our ranks ; those that return, increase our numbers. There is a laver of water; there is a laver of tears. From the one, there is joy because of the admittance of them that are called ; from the other, there is gladness because of them that repent. Therefore it is, that these thy suppliant servants, -after having fallen into sundry kinds of sins, by the neglect of the divine commandments, and the transgression of the moral law,-humbled and prostrate, cry out to the Lord in these words of the Prophet : We have sinned : we have done unjustly; we have committed iniquity : have mercy on us, O Lord It has not been in vain, that they have heard the words of the Gospel : Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted. As it is

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