Holy Thursday Foot Washing

Issue: May women and children lawfully participate in the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual? Can this ritual be lawfully replaced with a hand-washing or hand-anointing, or any other ritual? Response: The Church’s current guidelines clearly prescribe that only men may have their feet washed in the Holy Thursday, foot-washing ritual. While the ritual is optional, current […]

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He Descended into Hell

Our Lord’s descent into hell, under whose aegis Holy Saturday stands liturgically in the Church’s year, is an article of faith that is of particular significance to modern man. On Good Friday we contemplate Christ on the Cross, and on Easter Sunday we celebrate Christ’s Resurrection. In the interim, on Holy Saturday, the words of […]

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Another Prayer for the Jews

Much has been written in recent weeks concerning the revised prayer for the conversion of the Jews that Pope Benedict XVI wrote for the Good Friday service. The revised prayer, of course, is for the extraordinary form of the Latin liturgy, but a similarly worded prayer has been in effect in the ordinary, so-called ”Novus Ordo” form […]

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Sheep and Goats

In recent years I’ve spilled perhaps an inordinate amount of ink on the Holy Thursday foot-washing rite, which surely has been the cause of some controversy in recent years. At the same time, though, the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper has never ceased to be one of my favorite liturgies of the year, […]

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Merry Chrism Mass!

On Holy Thursday, or more likely one day earlier this week, the bishop of each respective Catholic diocese throughout the world, in the company of his priests, will celebrate the Chrism Mass. This Mass typically takes place at the cathedral or some other central location that will accommodate a large number of concelebrants. At this Mass, the bishop blesses […]

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Choosing the Twelve, Again

The drama of Our Lord’s passion, death, and resurrection comes alive to us through the magnificent Holy Week liturgies. One unique element, not done at any other time of the year, is the washing of feet on Holy Thursday. The foot-washing rite calls to mind the episode during the Last Supper in which Our Lord, […]

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Prayer for the Jews

When Pope Benedict XVI issued his motu proprio allowing for a broader use of the “extraordinary form” of the Latin liturgy, one concern that was raised was the prayer for the Jews in the Good Friday service. The concern was twofold. First, the language of the Tridentine liturgy referred to the blindness and faithlessness of […]

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