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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Holy Mass of the Institution of the Blessed Eucharist

On Maundy Thursday the Church commemorates the institution of the Blessed Eucharist. On this day one Mass only can be said in the same church and that must be a public one. White vestments are worn by the priest, the altar is decked with flowers, and even the purple veil, which covers the cross during Passion-tide, is replaced by one of white.

The celebrant consecrates sufficient hosts for Good Friday, when there is no Mass.

Holy Communion is distributed.

The Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession to a place known as the Repository or Sepulchre, where it remains until the following day. After the Mass on Maundy Thursday the signs of mourning proper to Passion-tide are resumed: the altar is stripped of its coverings and of ornaments of all kind, the lights in the sanctuary are extinguished, and the door of the empty tabernacle is left open.

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