HOLY THURSDAY MASS
Holy Thursday is the commemoration of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ, when he established the sacrament of Holy Communion prior to his arrest and crucifixion. It also commemorates His institution of the priesthood. The central observance of Holy Thursday is the ritual re- enactment of the Last Supper at Mass. This event is celebrated at every Mass, as party of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, but it is specially commemorated on Holy Thursday.
The holy day falls on the Thursday before Easter and is part of Holy Week. The Last Supper was the final meal Jesus shared with his Disciples in Jerusalem. Jesus celebrated the dinner as a Passover feast. Christ would fulfil His role as the Christian victim of the Passover for all to be saved by His final sacrifice.
He also establishes the special priesthood for his disciples, which is distinct from the “priesthood of all believers.” Christ washed the feet of his Disciples, who would become the first priests. This establishment of the priesthood is re-enacted at Mass with the priest washing the feet of several parishioners.
During the Passover meal, Jesus breaks bread and gives it to his Disciples, uttering the words, “This is my body, which is given for you.” Subsequently, he passes a cup filled with wine. He then says, “This is my blood…” It is believed those who eat of Christ’s flesh and blood (through the Sacrament of Holy Communion) shall have eternal life.