Maundy Thursday: Mass Report

Choir call was at 7:00 for the mass at 8:00. I’ve been away the last few Sundays so haven’t had the benefit of much rehearsal for the Triduum music, and we were only 9 (plus the organist) singing last night. But because most of our music was a capella, coupled with lovely acoustics in the church, I think we sounded okay.

The processonal hymn was When I Behold the Wondrous Cross. (I’m not sure why the title was changed from “When I Survey….”. Maybe it’s a Catholic thing?).

Father Larry gave an excellent homily that refreshed our memory on the significance of the day, particularly for priests. He also tied Jewish customs based on the reading from Exodus to the Eucharist.

During the liturgy of the washing of the feet, we chanted Mandatum novum do vobis (“a new commandment I give unto you) from whence comes the word “maundy”. The was followed by an Ubi Caritas medly: the first verse arranged by Durufle for four voices (see it at YouTube), and the remaining verses from The Catholic Book of Worship III.

During the offering of the gifts, we sang I am the Bread of Life unaccompanied.

At the end of mass, during the procession with the exposed eucharist, we sang Tantum Ergo arranged by Durufle for four voices:

Tantum ergo sacramentum
Veneremur cernui,
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui;
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori Genitoque
Laus et jubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio;
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.


or, in English:

So let us devoutly revere this great sacrament, and the old covenant may give way to the new rite. May faith grant assistance to the deficiency of our senses.

Jubilant praise, glory, laud, honor, and benediction be to the Father and the Son. Equal praise be to Him that proceeds from the two.

The procession was beautiful and the Blessed Sacrament was exposed at the St. John altar in the church. Oddly, at least for me, our parish appears not to have a monstrance. In our previous parish in Atlanta, we had a beautiful gold cross shaped monstrance in which the Blessed Sacrament was actually exposed. We also had a 24 hour period of adoration each week. Last night, the Body of Christ was in a chalice-type vessel with a lacy cloth laid over top. Considering that our parish is actually called “Blessed Sacrament”, the apparent lack of a monstrance and the fact that the tabernacle is outside the sanctuary to the side of the altar, is all very sad.

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