PS 56-57: Praying After Holy Thursday Mass

Jesus arms outstretchedRemember, you can check the full document on this site, among many on the internet. Let’s bring our discussion of Holy Thursday to a conclusion. These sections contain some details that might merit careful attention in parishes, if they have not already been addressed.

56. The faithful should be encouraged after the Mass of the Lord’s Supper to spend a suitable period of time during the night in the church in, adoration before the Blessed Sacrament that has been solemnly reserved. Where appropriate, this prolonged eucharistic adoration may be accompanied by the reading of some part of the Gospel of Saint John (ch. 13-17).

From midnight onwards, however, the adoration should be made without external solemnity, for the day of the Lord’s Passion has begun. (Cf. Roman Missal, Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, 21; SRC, Decr. Maxima redemptionis nostrae mysteria (16 Nov. 1955) nn, 8-10; AAS 47 (1955), 845)

How would you read this? I would think that an all-night adoration would be within bounds. Most places I know or that I’ve served conclude prayer at or around midnight.

The readings from St John’s Last Supper account seem appropriate, but I haven’t found the custom of readings during adoration has really caught the Catholic imagination in the US. Many believers seem to find the silence very profound. I would think the most-midnight adoration, if done, would be simply silent.

57. After Mass the altar should be stripped. It is fitting that any crosses in the church be covered with a red or purple veil, unless they have already been veiled on the Saturday before the fifth Sunday of Lent. Lamps should not be lit before the images of saints.

Veiling of crosses is “fitting,” but not absolutely required it seems. Would you think the lighting of lamps extends to votive candles at shrines within the church? My present parish does not put away the candles for the Triduum. Does yours? Should we?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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