Holy (cow!) Thursday
  • Jani
    Posts: 441
    If I hadn’t been around here for several years, you might think I was a troll with this, but here goes......

    First, we are celebrating HT at 9 A.M. This is a first for me and I wonder about the validity of it. And now for the biggie- anyone ever hear of “washing of the hands” and not the feet?

    Sorry, this was embarrassing to write.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    (not angry at you, just crummy priests who do this schtuff)

    Firstly, the missal specifically states (pg. 299, #1):
    The Mass of the Lord's Supper is celebrated in the evening, at a convenient time, with full participation of the whole local community... etc.
    Little wonder, since it was the Lord's last supper, not breakfast.

    Secondly, washing of hands is absolutely bonkers. Jesus didn't wash the Apostle's hands. He washed their feet, which is crystal clear in the gospels and in ancient tradition. Either do the ritual or don't. No more of this covid/modernist crap. The missal specifically instructs the priest to pour water over the feet (because... duh.) of those who have been chosen (pg. 300, #11).

    IMHO, both of these things need to be stopped. Not modified; stopped. If this priest is willing to be this weird with the liturgy, perhaps he needs to reconsider his vocation.

    Also, if he gives you the whole, "we are doing it here in the morning because I have to be there in the evening" business (I know many priests are stretched thin between more than one parish) the missal also specifically states that it is better for parishes to combine and give these ancient rites due solemnity than to do them poorly in little groups. (cf. pg. 298 #3)

  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    As an aside, where does this priest think he has to be that evening?

    This is arguably one of the most important Eucharists of the entire year. It is one of, if not THE most important consecration of the whole year. It is literally THE Mass where we commemorate THE thing upon which all other Masses hinge.

    Reading your OP is just blowing my mind. I just can't comprehend what on earth is going through this priest's mind.

    If you approach him (I hope you do) and then he is unresponsive, you need to reach out to your diocesan liturgical director post haste.
    Thanked by 3Jani CHGiffen RedPop4
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    Also, is the priest not attending the Chrism Mass in your diocese? Usually those take place in the morning. I'm surprised he's even able to have mass at your parish at 9am.
    Thanked by 2Jani CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    Scratching my head in amazement. I wonder what body parts this priest will want to wash next. There is something to be said for do it right, or leave it alone.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    Charles, your reserve is kind. You have much more self-control than I do, lol.
  • Jani
    Posts: 441
    Chrism Mass was held on the 7th.

    H.T. Mass in English is in the a.m. Spanish Mass will be in the evening at a mission church.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,923
    Cool. The priest is commemorating Pontius Pilate instead of the Twelve Apostles. How apt.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    Again, I reiterate that the missal specifically states that churches should combine if circumstances warrant.

    At the bare minimum, one should be early evening and other late evening. Not in the morning for heaven’s sake.
    Thanked by 1LauraKaz
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    Stimson, that is actually a great argument against this modernist nonsense.
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,777
    I won't play Pilate's advocate, but combining churches is only warranted when the traveling distance is small enough.
  • Jani
    Posts: 441
    That’s our situation, Richard Mix. Too far apart.
  • [Disclaimer: I no longer have to put up with this sort of behavior]

    When my parish (an oratory) was, temporarily, living under the roof of a canonical parish, we had to find ways (because one was exclusively multiple-vernacular and the other is TLM) to allow both. Early evening and late evening are better options than stupidity.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    Well, as someone who used to play for a national shrine and its mission parish that was a ways off in the country, I think it would still be perfectly feasible to have both masses in the evening:

    early mass at 4pm, done by 5pm, with an hour buffer for another mass at 6pm. Widen the gap if the transit is further. At any rate, it's totally doable. (Been there, done that.)
    Thanked by 2Jani RedPop4
  • First, we are celebrating HT at 9 A.M. This is a first for me and I wonder about the validity of it.


    … "validity" should not be an issue here. HT was traditionally celebrated in the morning, and this practice perdured for centuries.
    Thanked by 2Andrew_Malton tomjaw
  • Jani
    Posts: 441
    Maybe “validity” is the wrong word. Maybe “licit” is better? Either way, it certainly isn’t “usual” today.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Caleferink
  • I don't know your particular situation. However, it might be that the morning time is all that is possible for your priest to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; and Canon law says somewhere that the 'good of souls' must be the ultimate law…
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    There is actually a rubric on this topic:

    "Where a pastoral reason requires it, the local Ordinary may permit another Mass to be celebrated in churches and oratories in the evening, and, in the case of genuine necessity, even in the morning, but only for the faithful who are in no way able to participate in the evening Mass. Care should, nevertheless, be taken that celebrations of this sort do not take place for the advantage of private persons or special small groups, and do not prejudice the evening Mass."
    (Roman Missal, US edition, p. 299)

    This could be done reasonably for the good of doctors, nurses, policemen, firemen, and other essential workers with duties on the Thursday evening.

    And washing hands? How silly. The symbolism is terrible: washing of hands reminds us of Pontius Pilate.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,777
    I would like to apologize to this thread (Jani in particular) for getting a little riled up yesterday. My responses were a bit heated.

    Sadly, I have been in a similar situation in the past and I ended up having to resign because the priest was so destructive (which I've detailed elsewhere on the forum). This saddens me greatly.

    I suppose what bothers me most is the 'washing of hands' more than the time of the Mass. (Come to think of it, I was told once that these masses were celebrated in the morning once upon a time but had forgotten.) Nevertheless, this reeks of modernism/liberalism. The classic "I'll do it my way" situation which is absolutely anathema to the spirit of traditional liturgy. (And here I don't just mean TLM's; I mean any formalized and rubric'd liturgy whatsoever, N.O. or V.O.)

    I once had someone send me a recording they had made of one of my larger organ works. This person took the liberty of adding fake percussion, changing tempos, using other midi sounds, and even changed the title of the work. He was pleased as punch with himself, but I was horrified and never sent him a response because I couldn't think of anything redeeming to say. In the end, what he performed and published on the internet was a parody of my composition at best. The "washing of hands" feels like liturgical parody to me. There's little left of the essence of the original if you are going to deform the rite so much. It is so frustrating to run up against these abuses over, and over, and over again. It hurts my heart. You were all reading that hurt.

    I pray that all goes well, Jani. I also pray that there will be people around this priest (yourself included) who are well-informed and can keep him in check writ large. A priest who wants to do the washing of hands is bound to want to do other funny things too.
  • I've experienced the hand-washing (it was many years ago). It was thought that this would be a modern adaptation that would be more meaningful for us. But the foot-washing is an act that for centuries was a gesture of hospitality, humility, and service, and was actually done. When was washing someone else's hands ever a custom or practice, other than helping someone who could not wash their own hands? It's not really an equivalent. Nor is it given as an option.
  • I don’t have time to look it up now, but the Maundy Thursday Mass is supposed to be in the evening. The Chrism Mass can (and is) traditionally in the morning, but the Mass of the Last Supper is supposed to be in the evening.
  • Jani
    Posts: 441
    I don’t think anyone needs to apologize for anything, and I’m so appreciative of the way everyone supports each other here...especially when my issues are over my head. I know that many of you are doing church work professionally, which is a huge help for those of us who feel the call but aren’t necessarily schooled in the art (and are living in the untamed West, ha!)

    This forum is a gold mine- thank you all!
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,003
    1. The bishop has to approve any Mass occurring before Holy Thursday evening, and only on the bases referenced by Mr Chonak.

    2. Washing of hands has not only no basis in the rite, it contradicts the rite for the reasons alluded to above. In the liturgical context of the Triduum, washing of feet evokes taking-on of responsibility, while washing of hands evokes abdication of responsibility.
  • PaxTecum
    Posts: 311
    Pre-1955 the holy week liturgies were customarily celebrated in the morning. It is, however, a more ancient practice to have them in the evening & that is why the times were restored to such in the later liturgical changes.
    Thanked by 2ServiamScores tomjaw
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,068
    That is almost completely false, actually, with respect to Holy Thursday and Good Friday. There were at one point three Masses, of which we do not actually possess details: one for the reconciliation of penitents, another for the blessing of chrism, and then the Missa in coena Domini. However, in Ordo Romanus I, the first two have disappeared; the reconciliation of penitents survives in another rite where it was practiced, e.g. in the Sarum version posted online at one point. (As an aside, I wonder if the Armenian door ceremony on the evening, or after the morning Divine Liturgy, of Palm Sunday is a conflation of the door ceremony of the Latin blessing of palms with the historical reconciliation of penitents.)

    OR I and the Wurztburg lectionary, dating from the mid-seventh century, have only one Mass, the chrism being blessed at the Missa in coena Domini as in the missal of St Pius V. The Murbach lectionary a century later has only the "Mass in which the chrism is made." Wurztburg has no Gospel; Murbach has a longer text from John 13, and OR I has the Gospel found in the Roman rite as passed down. The Mass of Holy Thursday was celebrated "hora tertia" according to OR I, which is suitable as it is not only a feast, but it is a feast of the Lord, which is why suppressing the Credo in 1955 was nonsensical.

    The Mass of the Presanctified was also celebrated "hora tertia" according to OR I. This anticipation is interesting as Good Friday is the day of penitence par excellence, the fast being broken only after Vespers on such a day, with the liturgy of the day following None, but the placement of the major office in the morning demonstrates the link to the Mass celebrated the morning before, for it is one and the same sacrifice. I don't like at all the idea that "Mass on Holy Thursday doesn't end." That is a novelty. But it is true that the sacrifice of Good Friday is that of the previous day, not only in speaking of Golgotha itself. If anticipating the liturgy is a problem, then we should stop reading the Passion on Palm Sunday and, even in the 1955 liturgy, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    In the case of Rome, this anticipation also allowed the first part of the liturgy to be repeated in parishes.

    St Pius V permanently moved the other major liturgies to the morning as had been customary for centuries, but [edited: I forgot to mention the reform of Pius XII, as Gregory DiPippo did] in the reform of 1955, on Holy Saturday, as has been discussed elsewhere, this only shifted the incongruity from one end of the liturgy to the other without actually respecting the most ancient customs of the church in both the East and the West. Further, since this Mass is not a Mass of the Resurrection (not traditionally), we are not yet proclaiming Christ's resurrection, which is still clearly the case in the Byzantine rite, where the baptismal ceremonies and Divine Liturgy take place in the morning. "Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life" only returns at Matins in the late evening of Holy Saturday… just like "Surrexit Dominus vere" is proclaimed in that glorious mode VI chant at Matins. In fact, since everything is chained together, you traditionally didn't even sing Regina Cæli until after Compline following the paschal vigil…

    and heck, in the Novus Ordo, despite the missal's dealio about the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night and First Mass of Easter, nevertheless, not even Hannibal could remove the custom of singing the Gospel with only incense… because Mary Magdalene went to the tomb to anoint Our Lord, who would rise, but who has not yet done so.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,707
    schtuff
    ...can also be spelled with 'sh', (delete the c), insert an i, and chuck the 'uff'.

    :)
  • davido
    Posts: 895
    Matthew, you offer interesting data, but I have trouble following your argument. Are you saying that:
    - the earliest written evidence shows the Holy Thursday mass and Good Friday liturgy were celebrated in the morning?
    - characteristics of the Easter Vigil liturgy separate it in kind from the mass of Easter Day?
    - celebrating these masses in the morning is an anticipation of their proper time of celebration, but of practice as ancient as our evidence for the liturgy itself?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,731
    @davido
    The problem is a lot of what we have been told about the Liturgy in the last 100 years has been wrong, and some has been outright fraudulent.

    We now have access to many more manuscripts, and can see the cherry picking used by those in the 1960's to forward their personal view of liturgy.

    The Roman Church has only recently given up the ides of Fasting, but if you are going to fast from midnight, evening Masses are a bad idea.
    They also get in the way of Vespers, Compline and anticipated Matins because it is no fun to get up at silly o'clock in the morning and walk to church to sing Matins.
    On the greatest feast of the Church's year, let us forget Vespers, Compline, and anticipated Matins, and just have some sort of 'Vigil Mass' to start Easter...
    Why do all the Prophecies, Preparation of Easter Water, Preparation of the Paschal Candle etc. need to take place in the evening?

    People write about the times the early Church used to celebrate Liturgy, but the early Christians seem not to have needed to sleep and have all night Liturgies. If you are going to have the timings of the prehistoric Liturgies, you should also follow their Liturgies rather than something made up in a cafe in Rome in the 1960's.
    Thanked by 1MatthewRoth
  • davido
    Posts: 895
    Tomjaw, thanks, I agree and am sad that the traditional ways were abandoned in favor of novelties.
    In the days before electric lighting, it makes absolute sense to do as much as possible during the daylight hours.
    I think we moderns have a fascination with the darkness of evening and night because we experience so little actual darkness. Light is only a switch flip away.

    I my perception, people perceive a sort of romance about the Novus evening services, partly because of the time of day. I would like to see explanations of the old services that highlighted the inherent romance of them.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Jani
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,068
    Yes. Ad secundum, the only reason that the Mass counted for one's obligation beginning in 1956 was because it began after midnight by analogy to Christmas. Then evening Masses on Saturday counted for Sunday beginning in 1970, so the vigil could begin and finish after darkness but before midnight, since the entire ceremony is integrated into the Mass. The priest only wears the chasuble, and the baptismal elements are stuffed after the Gospel, which nevertheless retains the unique ceremonies described above. However, this too is a novelty. The baptismal rites in both East and West (cf. the Gelasian Sacramentary) precede the eucharistic liturgy, or at the very least, the baptismal liturgy of the West is entirely separated, whereas in the East, the transition from the preparation of the offerings and the Divine Office is so seamless, which means that you basically spend the entire liturgy as a neophyte, instead of half of it. Some are never even followed by that in the East, like marriage. Only holy orders are conferred inside the Mass (not after the sermon, and some parts are fixed to a certain spot, like the Litany of the Saints, then the other parts are placed according to the orders conferred).

    Ad tertium, yes, except that I would say this. One should at least be aware when speaking about the anticipation of the vigil to the morning, which is not unique to the West; it is after all a little weird to sing "O beata nox" sometime between 6:30 and 9 am. But it is eminently practical for reasons of the fast (the traditional Lenten one, not just the eucharistic one), and I think that parishes should at least try to sing Matins even if you sing all or most of it recto tono. Is this unrealistic and idealistic? Maybe, but I know of at least one parish which will celebrate the vigil at 17h; they will then sing Paschal Matins at 7 am the next morning.

    As to the lack of sleep in the early church… it is true that they had lots of readings from Scripture, preaching, and other forms of vigils or prayer that lasted in to the night, but there was always a Mass of Easter separate from the vigil, and the mistaken time of the Paschal Vigil is related to a mistaken belief about Ember Saturday and the following Sunday, which had a Mass, just not a stational Mass with the pope. Once again thanks to Gregory DiPippo.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • Jani
    Posts: 441
    There was no hand washing! There was also no foot washing. Okay then.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • francis
    Posts: 10,707
    I can no longer go to communion in those liturgies where the priest stands in front of a little table with hand sanitizer. I believe sacrilege is occurring when the priest gives someone communion on the tongue and then he sets the ciborium down and squirts sanitizer on his hands and rubs them together quickly to dry them. Meanwhile particles of the precious body are being mixed with the potion. I will not be party to that.
  • LauraKaz
    Posts: 74
    Jani, there was no foot washing in my parish on Thursday night either, which came as a complete surprise.
    Thanked by 1Jani
  • Jani,

    Was the operating principle "If we can't do anything absolutely stupid, we won't do anything at all"?
    Thanked by 1Jani
  • Jani
    Posts: 441
    Chris,

    I will wait for “the Vigil Show” this evening before I comment.... :)
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 2,065
    H.T. Mass in English is in the a.m. Spanish Mass will be in the evening at a mission church.


    Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were one common language that all the churches of the world could worship in?

    (Old, I know, but somebody had to say it.)
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,923
    (Old, I know, but somebody had to say it.)


    "Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed." - Samuel Johnson