Saturday, April 12, 2014

Visit Seven Churches on Holy Thursday

A message from Michael:

An open invitation for anyone one who would like to join us on the Seven Churches pilgrimage this Holy Thursday: We will meet for mass and dinner at San Roque at 5:30. Our route last year was to head to OLS next, then Guadalupe, Mount Carmel, the Poor Clare's chapel, Holy Cross, and finally ending at St. Raphael's.

From Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church:
Holy Thursday or Thursday of the Holy Mysteries is the first day of the Easter Triduum. On that day Jesus had his Last Supper with his disciples and washed their feet. He commanded them to love each other and follow his example in serving each other. “So when he had washed their feet and put his garments back on and reclined at table again, he said to them, "Do you realize what I have done for you? You call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am. If I, therefore, the master and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him” (John 13/12- 16).

After the washing of the feet, Jesus went to Mount of Olives and spent his night there praying to His Father for his disciples and his Church so they may be one as He is one with His Father. On that day, Jesus founded the Sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Eucharist and the Priesthood. It is the Thursday of the Priests par excellence, those servants of the Holy Sacraments and administrators of the Holy Eucharist in memory of Jesus Christ, in memory of His death and Resurrection until he returns.

The custom of that day was to visit seven Churches, symbolizing the seven Sacraments, and meditating in each Church upon one of the Sacraments. This custom started first in Rome, where Christians went to visit seven Churches built upon seven hills of Rome, to honor the tombs of the first Christian martyrs and disciples, especially the tombs of Peter and Paul. This custom still in existence in our parishes and churches in Lebanon where thousands of people go in procession from one Church to another to visit the Blessed Sacrament exposed usually after the ceremony of the washing of the feet until the morning of the next day, Good Friday. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed all night and faithful are encouraged to stay in the church as much as they can praying, meditating upon the Mystery of Salvation, and participating in the “agony of Gethsemane” where Jesus spent his night in prayer before His crucifixion on Good Friday.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. I just noticed this post with pictures from seven churches in Rome last year: