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The Thursday of Holy Week, called Maundy Thursday or sometime Holy Thursday, recalls the day when the Lord Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist, the sacrament of his Body and Blood. The name Maundy Thursday derives from the Latin mandatum, meaning ‘commandment’, because of the use of John 13.34 in the Antiphon.
At this Mass, the "Mass of the Lord's Supper", the Priest washes ceremonially the feet of twelve members of the congregation to remember Christ’s washing of his twelve Apostles at the Last Supper. This Mass stresses the importance Jesus puts on humility and service within the Church. Also emphasised are the fundamental importance of the Eucharist and the sacrifice of Christ’s Body, which we now find present in the Blessed Sacrament.
O Bread of Heaven, beneath this veil
Thou dost my very God conceal:
My Jesus, dearest treasure, hail!
At the conclusion of the Mass, people are invited to continue adoring the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar of Repose, just as the disciples were invited to watch with the Lord during his agony in the garden of Gethsemane.
Photo Copyright: All Saints' PCC Houghton Regis