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ejus, populo qui nascetur forth his justice to a people quem fecit Dominus. that shall be born, which the

Lord hath made. ANT. Diviserunt sibi ves- ANT. They parted my gartimenta mea, et super ves- ments among them, and upon tem meam miserunt sor- my vesture they cast lots. tem,

After having stripped the High Altar, the Celebrant takes off the Cloths from the other Altars that are in the Church. An air of desolation pervades the Temple of God. The very Tabernacle has lost its Divine Guest. The Ciborium, in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved for Viaticum,) has been taken to the place, where reposes the Chalice containing the Body of our Lord. The Majesty of our God has withdrawn to that mysterious Sanctuary, into which we enter not but with silence and compunction.

It was the custom, in some Churches, for the Priest to wash, in the afternoon, the Altars with wine and water, which he sprinkled upon them with a branch of hyssop. This ceremony, (which has now ceased to be observed in almost every Church, excepting at St. Peter's, in Rome,) was intended as a homage offered to our Blessed Lord, in return for the humility, wherewith he deigned to wash the feet of his Disciples. We find it so explained by St. Isidore of Seville, and St. Eligius, Bishop of Noyon.”

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THE WASHING OF THE FEET. After having, on this day, washed the feet of his Disciples, Jesus said to them : Know ye what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord: and you say well, for so I am. If then I, being your

1 De Ecclesiasticis Officiis, lib. I. cap. xxviii.

Homil. viii, De Coena Domini.

Lord and Master, have washed your feet ; you, also, ought to wash one an other's feet. For I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you do also. Although the meaning of these words is, that after the example of our Divine Master, we should practise works of fraternal charity towards our neighbour,—yet the literal imitation of this our Saviour's act has always been observed in the Church.

At the commencement, it was almost a daily practice. St. Paul, when mentioning the qualities wbich should adorn the Christian Widow, includes that of washing the feet of the Saints,2 that is, of the Faithful. We find this act of humble charity practised in the Ages of Persecution, and even later. The Acts of the Saints of the first six centuries, and the Homilies and Writings of the Holy Fathers, are filled with allusions to it. Afterwards, charity grew cold, and this particular way of exercising it was confined, almost exclusively, to Monasteries. Still, from time to time, it was practised elsewhere. We occasionally find Kings and Queens setting this example of humility. The holy King Robert of France, and, later, St. Louis, used frequently to wash the feet of the poor. The holy Queens, St. Margarite of Scotland, and St. Elizabeth of Hungary, did the same. The Church, with that spirit which makes her treasure up every recommendation of her Divine Lord, has introduced this act of humility into her Liturgy, and it is to-day that she puts the great lesson before her chil. dren. In every Church of any importance, the Prelate, or Superior, honours our Saviour's condescension by the ceremony, called the Washing of the Feet. The Bishops throughout the world follow the example set them by the Sovereign Pontiff, who performs this ceremony in the Vatican. Yea, there are still

St. John, xiii. 12-15.

2 1. Tim. v. 10.

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to be found Kings and Queens who, on this day, wash the feet of the poor, and give them abundant alms.

The Twelve Apostles are represented by the twelve poor, who, according to the most general practice, are chosen for this ceremony. The Pope, however, washes the feet of thirteen Priests of as many different countries; and this is the reason of the Ceremonial requiring this number for Cathedral Churches. But, why thirteen? Some have interpreted it thus: that it represented the full number of the Apostolic College, which is thirteen, for St. Matthias was elected in Judas' place, and our Lord himself, after his Ascension, called St. Paul to be an Apostle. Other authors, however, among whom the learned Pope Benedict the Fourteenth, assert, that the reason of this number being chosen was the miracle related in the life of St. Gregory the Great. This holy Pope used, every day, to wash the feet of twelve poor men, whom he afterwards invited to his own table. One day, a thirteenth was present :-it was an Angel, whom God had sent, that he might thereby testify how dear to him was the charity of his Servant.

The Ceremony of the Washing of the Feet is, also, called the Mandatum, from the first word of the first Antiphon. After the Deacon has chanted the Gospel of the Mass of Maundy Thursday (page 380,) the Celebrant takes off the Cope, girds himself with a towel, and, kneeling down, begins to wash the feet of those who have been chosen. He kisses the right foot of each one, after having washed it. Meanwbile, the Choir sings the following Antiphons :

ANT. Mandatum novum ANT. I give you a new do vobis : ut diligatis invi- commandment: that ye love

1 De Festis D. N.J. C.-Lib. I. Cap. vi. No. 57.

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one another, as I have loved cem sicut dilexi vos, dicit you, says our Lord. Ņ. Blessed Dominus. V. Beati immaare the immaculate in the culati in via : * qui ambuway; who walk in the law of lant in lege domini. Manthe Lord. I give, &c.

datum. ANT. After our Lord was Ant. Postquam surrexit risen from supper, he put water Dominus

coena, misit into a basin, and began to wash aquam in pelvim, et coepit the feet of his disciples ; to lavare pedes discipulorum whom he gave this example, suorum : hoc exemplum re7. Great is the Lord, and liquit eis. V. Magnus Doexceedingly

to be praised : in minus et laudabilis nimis : * the city of our God, in his in civitate Dei nostri, in holy mountain. After, &c. monte sancto ejus. Post

quam. ANT. Our Lord Jesus, after ANT. Dominus Jesus, he had supped with his disci- postquam cenavit cum disples, washed their feet, and cipulis suis, lavit pedes eosaid to them: Know you what rum, et ait illis : Scitis quid I your Lord and Master have fecerim vobis

ego

Dominus done to you? I have given et Magister ? Exemplum you an example, that ye also dedi vobis, ut et vos ita may do the same. W. Thou hast faciatis. W. Benedixisti, blessed, O Lord, thy land : Domine, terram tuam; thou hast delivered Jacob avertistí captivitatem Jacob. from captivity. Our Lord, Dominus. &c.

ANT. Lord, dost thou wash Ant. Domine, _tu mihi my feet? Jesus answered, and lavas pedes ! Respondit said to him : If I shall not Jesus, et dixit ei : Si non wash thy feet, thou shalt have lavero tibi pedes, non habeno part with me. V. He came bis partem mecum. V. Veto Simon Peter, and Peter said nit ergo ad Simonem Peto him : Lord,' &c. . What trum, * et dixit ei Petrus : I do thou knowest not now : Domíne. ¥. Quod ego facio but thou shalt know it after- tu nescis modo : scies autem wards. Lord, &c.

postea. Domine. Ant. If I your Lord and Ant. Si ego Dominus et Master have washed your feet: Magister vester lavi vobis how much more ought you to pedes : quanto magis debewash the feet of one another ļ tis alter alterius lavare pe7. Hear these things, all ye des ! W. Audite hæc, omnes nations : hearken to them, all gentes : * auribus percipite ye that inhabit the world. If qui habitatis orbem. Si ego. 1, &c.

Ant. In this all shall know Ant. In hoc cognoscent that ye are my disciples, if ye omnes quia discipuli mei

*

estis, si dilectionem habue- have a love for one another. ritis ad invicem. . Dixit . Said Jesus to his disciples. Jesus discipulis suis. In In this, &c. hoc.

ANT. Maneant in vobis Ant. Let these three, Faith, fides, spes, charitas, tria Hope, and Charity, remain in hæc: major autem horum you : but the greatest of them est charitas. Ť. Nunc au- is charity. V. But now retem manent fides, spes, main Faith, Hope, and Chacharitas, tria hæc : major rity, these three : but the horum est charitas. Ma- greatest of them is charity. neant.

Let, &c. ANT. Benedicta sit sancta ANT. Blessed be the holy Trinitas atque indivisa uni- Trinity and undivided Unity: tas : confitebimur ei, quia we will praise him because he fecit nobiscum misericor- has shown us his mercy. V. diam suam. ř. Benedica- Let us bless the Father and mus Patrem et Filiu the Son, with the Holy Ghost.

Sancto Spiritu. . . How lovely are thy taQuam dilecta tabernacula bernacles, O Lord of Hosts : tua, Domine virtutum ! * my soul desires and longs after concupiscit et deficit anima the house of the Lord. Blessed, mea in atria Domini. Bene- dc. dicta.

*

cum

After these Antiphons, the Choir sings the following Canticle. It is a fervent exhortation to Fraternal Charity, of which the Washing of the Feet is a symbol.

CANTICLE. Ubi charitas, et amor, Where charity and love are, Deus ibi est.

there is God. V. Congregavit nos in Ñ. The love of Christ hath unum Christi amor.

gathered us together. 7. Exsultemus, et in ipso W. Let us rejoice in him, jucundemur.

and be glad. . Timeamus, et amemus Ñ. Let us fear and love the Deum vivum.

living God. Ñ. Et ex corde diligamus Ñ. And let us love one the nos sincero.

other with a sincere heart.

Ubi charitas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Where charity and love are, there is God.

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