The Easter Triduum 2024 - Maundy Thursday

  • 28.03.24
  • 7:30 PM
  • In St George's Cathedral and across the Archdiocese of Southwark
  • Takes place in person

The Easter Triduum marks three days when the Church recalls the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Services will take place in parishes throughout the Archdiocese of Southwark and Archbishop Wilson will celebrate in St George's Cathedral. We begin with Maundy Thursday, as Jesus shares a final meal with the Apostles and Institutes the Eucharist.

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Maundy Thursday at St George's Cathedral 2024

Thursday 28 March

*Evening Mass of the Lord's Supper: 7.30 pm
Watching at Altar of Repose after Mass
Confessions: 10 – 11.30 pm
Night Prayer: 11.45 pm

Please note that Archbishop Wilson will celebrate the service marked with a star *. A full schedule of services for Holy Week and Easter at St George's Cathedral is available to download here (PDF)

Information regarding Southwark parishes can be accessed at the end of this article

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About Maundy Thursday

On the first day of the Triduum we commemorate Jesus' Last Supper with his disciples, and are reminded of Christ's humility, selflessness and the importance of service to others

The word ‘Maundy’ derives from the Latin ‘mandatum’ (and later the English version: mandate) which means ‘commandment’.  This reflects Jesus’ instruction at the Passover held in the Upper Room, just prior to his crucifixion:
"I give you a new commandment:
that you love one another
just as I have loved you"

In the Gospel today (John 13:1-15 ), Jesus teaches through the action of washing the disciples' feet. Peter is surprised and refuses, but Jesus meets his disquiet by saying:

"If I do not wash you, you can have nothing in common with me."

Distressed by his misinterpretation of the situation, Peter goes on to ask Jesus to wash his hands and head as well, but Jesus tells him '

"No-one who has taken a bath needs washing, he is clean all over. You too are clean, though not all of you are".

In this last sentence, he refers to the betrayal intended by Judas Iscariot later that night, Jesus then asks asks if the disciples understand the meaning of his actions in washing their feet:

"You call me Master and Lord, and rightly; so I am.  If I then have washed your feet, you should wash each other's feet. I have given you an example so that you may copy what I have done to you." 

Through these words, Jesus commands to the Apostles to serve others as He has served them, becoming the least amongst men to serve the Kingdom of God.


Institution of the Eucharist

During Maundy Thursday the faithful also recall the Institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper, There are slightly differing accounts in the Gospels, but today we hear from St Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, in which he recounts Jesus' words:

On the same night that he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread, and thanked God for it and broke it, and he said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this as a memorial of me."
In the same way he took the cup after supper, and said, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Whenever you drink it, do this as a memorial of me."
Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death.

In the Old Testament, blood sacrifices were required for atonement and cleansing when the Law was broken. Through the sacrifice of his body and blood, Jesus seals the New Covenant, that is, the mercy of God and the forgiveness of sins, so that we may receive our eternal inheritance. In his account of the Passover, St Paul provides a scriptural basis for the Eucharist.

 

Procession to the Altar of Repose

At the end of the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Eucharist is taken in procession to the place of repose. The celebrant may put on a white humeral veil and take the ciborium, and cover the ciborium with the end of the veil. The Blessed Sacrament, which is reserved for Communion on Good Friday is placed in the tabernacle, followed by a watching and adoration by the faithful. In this period we are called to remember the disciples accompanying Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane where he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot, and later He denied three times by Peter.

 

Stripping of Altars

All altars in the church, with the exception of the Altar of Repose, are stripped of ecclesiastical vestments, ornaments, linens and vessels at the end of the service. This is symbolic of Jesus when as was stripped of his garments and was exposed to humiliation and insult.  The faithful are encouraged to reflect on the emptiness of a world without Christ and therefore without light, life or hope.

Celebrate Easter in Southwark

Visit our Diocesan Directory for online links and contact information for parishes throughout Southwark Southwark Roman Catholic Parishes