Observation in the Roman Catholic Church
Maundy Thursday is a day when Catholics commemorate the institution of the three most important pillars of faith―Sacrament of Communion, the Mass, and Priesthood.
Maundy Thursday is the day reserved to celebrate the Passover or the Lord's last meal with His disciples. It is the day to remember and venerate Christ's offering of himself to the disciples in the upper room. Simply put, Holy Thursday is the prelude to the ultimate sacrifice of Christ on the Mount Calvary.
It is also a day to be spent in quiet contemplation and self-examination. Besides, it is a day to share whatever little we have with those that are less fortunate. While celebrating Maundy Thursday, it is mandatory to bear in mind the commandment given by Christ to his disciples in the upper room the night before His final walk up the mount.
Christ, in all his humbleness, became a servant to serve his disciples, that like Christ, we too may follow the same and love our brethren as ourselves. Here's what you can do to observe this day.
Holy Thursday is best remembered as the feast of the Passover. In order to partake in this feast, we the commoners need to prepare ourselves. Take it as an opportunity to clean not just your homes, your surrounding, and yourselves, but also your minds.
It is time you left behind your hurt feelings, negative vibrations, and prejudices and wash yourself clean of all that you have been holding on to.
Fasting and Penance
It may be called a feast, but do make it a point to abstain from eating and merrymaking on this day. Instead, offer your saving for those that are less fortunate. Avoid switching on the television, radio, and music for the three days. Resort instead to praying, singing hymns, and reading the word of God.
Participate in the Chrism Mass
Once in your life, partake in the Chrism mass held at the diocese. This day is dedicated to celebrating the institution of priesthood, which is why partaking in the high mass is something you should do at least once in your lifetime.
The Chrism Mass (followed by the Roman Catholic Church) or the Mass of the Holy Oils is a celebration of communion of the priests of a given diocese with their Bishop. Holy oil is used for anointing the sick during sacraments and Holy Orders is blessed at this mass.
Attend the Passover Service
Although it is not a day of obligation, you can make some time and visit your church in the evening. Doing so will ensure you partake in the Lord's feast, as well as witness how Christ humbled himself to wash the feet of his disciples.
Besides, you get the chance to share your communion with Christ himself. The service commemorates the very first Holy Communion of the disciples with Christ offering himself through bread and wine to his disciples.
Kneel Before His Holy Presence
Take a moment to bow your head in prayer before the Altar of Repose in your church. The consecrated body of Christ, which is enclosed there, should be venerated in perfect silence. You can volunteer to lead the worship in your church. Ideally, a candlelight worship service should suffice.
Visit 7 Churches
Conduct the Stations of the Cross by visiting at least seven churches in your area. Ideally, you should visit the altar of repose of seven churches before midnight on Maundy Thursday.
Say a Family Prayer
A family that prayers together sticks together. While at home, you can gather your family together and read the Bible. You get to spend quality time together as well as spend the time praying for one another, thus, strengthening your bond.
Invite a Stranger for Dinner
If the Lord can share his meal with you and me, we as his children should do the same to those around us. Share your meal with a homeless stranger or even a poor soul; this way, you will be assured of their goodwill as well as blessings from the Almighty.
On the night of His arrest, Jesus said to His disciples, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Make this Holy Triduum special by keeping the mandate or command that Christ himself gave to us, his disciples, on the night of his arrest.