All posts tagged: Holy Thursday

Stations of the Cross 9-10: In the Cold Hell Where You Freeze

Throughout this Holy Week, we are going to be sharing a series of poetic meditations on the Stations of the Cross by Malcom Guite. An Anglican priest-poet currently serving as Chaplain of Girton College at the University of Cambridge, Guite has published eight books of his poetry, with two more forthcoming. His collection Sounding the Seasons comprises sonnets composed for various feasts and seasons throughout the liturgical year, including this series. We are grateful for Guite’s kind permission to share these sonnets on Church Life Journal. Whereas Jesus’ first and second falls were followed by moments of tenderness in the encounter with his Mother and the women of Jerusalem, this third and final fall is followed by the beginning of the end as Jesus is stripped by the soldiers who prepare him for his Crucifixion. And yet, this end, this Death toward which Jesus draws ever closer, is not the end; rather, it is the beginning. For though the soldiers strip Jesus of his garments and his tunic, they cannot strip him of his identity—even …

Holy Thursday: When Love Enters a Cosmos Turned in on Itself

When pure love, divine love, agape, enters a world turned in on itself, a world whose operating system is self-love, closed off by fear from any other possibility, such pure love is neither fully received nor fully reciprocated. In such a fallen and rebellious cosmos, that pure love, divine love, encountering indifference, denial, and rejection, is not welcomed with humility and delight, but is refracted in suffering. Such pure love can be expressed fully in a sinful and contorted world only as sacrifice. For rational creatures whose will is wounded—that is, for us—real love, pure love, agape, will always involve some kind of dying. St. John tells us that as Jesus initiated his Last Supper with his disciples, he was fully aware of what he was doing, fully aware of what this meal anticipated and made sacramentally present, fully aware of it was going to cost him. Further, the Evangelist links this full knowledge with a fullness of love, the real impetus of his action, commenting that Jesus loved his own—and loved them perfectly, or …

Music of Holy Week: Holy Thursday

Today we enter the most solemn days of the liturgical year: the Sacred Paschal Triduum. From St. Peter’s in Rome to the humblest of parishes, the Church will watch and pray and sing together, recalling the wondrous mysteries of our salvation in Christ Jesus. I Give to You a New Commandment (2004) by Peter Nardone (b. 1965) In the celebration of the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the presider, after proclaiming the passage from St. John’s Gospel in which Jesus himself washes his Apostles’ feet, will follow the commandment given by our Lord and wash the feet of those in his parish community whom he has been called to serve. The Roman Missal provides several antiphons (most of which are taken from the Johannine narrative) to serve as musical accompaniment for this ritual action, including the commandment of Jesus: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you, says the Lord” (Jn 13:34). In this simple yet effective setting for children’s choir and mixed choir by Scottish …