The annual Maundy Thursday, also known as the Holy Thursday, was observed with religious fervour at St Joseph’s Cathedral, Mantripukhri, the mother church of the Archdiocese of Imphal. The grand ceremony was presided over by Most Rev Dominic Lumon, DD, the Archbishop of Imphal, in the presence of Rev Fr Lijo, the Parish Priest, and other concelebrant priests and with many believers in attendance.
In the homily preached by the Archbishop, he said “the Holy Thursday celebrates three important moments in the life of Jesus. Firstly the institution of the Holy Eucharist, secondly the institution of the office of Priesthood and thirdly the giving of the New Commandment of Love.”
In the solemn Holy Eucharistic sacrifice, the Archbishop also enacted the washing of the feet, by washing the feet of twelve men, in imitation and remembrance of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as recorded in the Gospel according to John.
Highlighting the importance of the Commandment of Love in which Jesus said “a new commandment I give unto you, love one another as I have loved you” the Archbishop said that love is the key to healing our broken world. He also led the community to pray for various needs of the world, including for those who are sick and suffering, for those deprived of love, for peace in Ukraine, and for the governments and leaders.
At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, the sacred Holy Communion was carried reverently to the “Altar of Repose” prepared for the purpose to reenact the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest and subsequent crucifixion. There the congregation spent some time in prayerful adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The ceremony was filled with symbolism and meaningfulness, as the believers remembered the story of their religious beliefs.
It may be mentioned that the liturgy of the Holy Thursday is the beginning of the sacred Easter Triduum (three days of intense preparation for Easter). The triduum comprises the Holy Thursday, which commemorates the Last Supper which Jesus had along with his close group of disciples called the Apostles; The Good Friday which commemorates the crucifixion and the death of Jesus on the Cross; and the Holy Saturday also called Low Saturday in which the believers remember the time Jesus spent in the tomb, culminating in the Easter Vigil ceremony in which the all-important feast of Easter is celebrated.
All the liturgies of the sacred triduum will be celebrated in all the Churches across the Archdiocese of Imphal. St Joseph Cathedral Church will also celebrate all of them with solemnity and prayerfulness. All are invited to the sacred time of prayer and worship.
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