Francis’ Triduum Schedule: strange lacuna

From an astute reader…


I’m sure you saw the announcement of pp. Francis’s Holy Week schedule. I want to say that in the past there was at least mention made that an announcement of “The Mass of the Lord’s Supper” would be forthcoming? There is no mention at all of that Mass this year. Given that this Mass has been for years removed from its typical solemnity, I don’t think I’m being alarmist in noting it’s complete omission in this year’s Holy Week Schedule?

Also, “Holy Thursday” is only referred to as “Thursday in Holy Week?” I note that it was called “Holy Thursday” last year:

Reading too much into the tea leaves?


Security reasons, perhaps?

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  1. Imrahil says:

    There are those liturgical precisionists who abhor the idea of any sort of “triduum of the Passion” (viz., Holy Thursday, Friday, Saturday), because to them there must not be any triduum other than the Triduum. And some of them seem to think that, contrary to all popular feeling, “Holy Thursday” is the proper name of Holy Thursday Evening – which is part of the real Triduum – and not any time before that, so, the Chrism Mass would be on “Thursday of Holy Week”.

    Why the Pope wouldn’t celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper is, obviously, beyond me.

  2. Benedict Joseph says:

    I regard this bizarre transmission of his schedule as merely “more rope.” Provide them as much as they require.

  3. VP says:

    For Imrahil – the reason Francis wouldn’t celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper is that he hasn’t fully worked out for himself whether he believes what this Mass, or any other, accomplishes. I believe that the Jesuits call this process “discernment.” Maybe it’s just an oversight or a typo. Maybe he will say the Mass. With a stang.

    On top of all the rest of Francis’s record, this omission is intentional and extremely disturbing.

  4. Aquinas Gal says:

    It does seem like an odd omission. Maybe he will actually offer that Mass even if whoever prepared the schedule messed up.
    I can’t help but wonder if he will be at the jail washing the feet of Muslim prisoners though… We shall see….

  5. Chaswjd says:

    While I can appreciate the Pope’sdesire to celebrate the Eucharist with prisoners and others on the margin of society, I question whether Holy Thursday is the proper time to do it. He is the Bishop of Rome. Holy Thursday should not be his private celebration. Rather, he should celebrate it with his diocese. A bishop should not have a lacuna in his schedule where Holy Thursday Mass should be.

  6. grateful says:

    /la·cu·na/ (lah-ku´nah) pl. lacu´nae [L.]
    1. a small pit or hollow cavity.

    2. a defect or gap, as in the field of vision (scotoma).lacu´nar

  7. jhayes says:

    Francis usually celebrates the Mass of the Lord’s Supper (and its foot washing ceremony) at some location outside of the Vatican. Last year, it was at the Regina Ceoli Prison.

    I think they do not announce the location ahead of time to avoid crowds gathering at the site of the Mass.

    I wouldn’t take the lack of mention in the schedule as necessarily meaning that Francis will not celebrate the Mass.

  8. Jerome Charles says:

    Several websites noted that Pope Francis will indeed celebrate the Holy Thursday liturgy, and the location will be announced later–as has been done other years (for security, as noted above?). Perhaps they should have noted that on the official Vatican schedule. Pope Francis has traditionally included the most marginalized people in society to be part of the foot-washing ritual–such as immigrants and prisoners. As for washing the feet of a Muslim person, who knows how one’s heart might be changed by having the Pope wash your feet? The Holy Spirit is THAT powerful– and maybe guided Francis to that practice.

  9. Imrahil says:

    Dear Jerome Charles,

    it‘s just the thing that washing the feet of an unbaptized person is incompatible with an important and integral part of the Mandatum‘s significance. Whosoever comes from the bath (viz., Baptism – or perhaps also Confession) is all clean and has but need of washing his feet.

    (This, as an aside, is not in that Männer true about the – repealed – erstwhile rule to take only men; though that as well did make some additional sense.)

  10. Imrahil says:

    in that *manner*. Could autocorrect please just vanish into nothing?


  11. Jerome Charles says:

    Imrahil, It doesn’t address unbaptized persons, or say that one needs be “all clean.” Pope Francis is trying to emphasize Jesus’ generosity and mercy–especially toward sinners–in this act, which is an optional ritual in the liturgy. I find it very meaningful and moving, and am disappointed when a church chooses to not include the foot-washing.

  12. TonyO says:

    What the link to the USCCB shows is that the 1987 Secretariat for the Liturgy was in defiance of the Roman rule regarding men in the ceremony. That the Roman rule was later changed DOES NOT make the earlier disobedience not disobedient. The explanation is flat wrong about that.

    Pope Francis seems to have chosen to emphasize, by the ritual, a portion of what Christ intended to signify by it. It is fine for him to choose to emphasize portions of the whole of what was signified – that is one of the things a pope gets to do. He can choose to pick out X to emphasize rather than Y.

    Less so is to say or imply that Christ did not intend to also signify other things through what he did, when the Church in the past says that Christ’s acts did so signify. This would seem to be a bit of an odd undertaking for a pope.

    It is clearly possible to intend to pick out so little of what was present in Christ’s action (and His intention) that one effectively MIS-represents what was going on through omission. While there is room for gray area between “not emphasizing everything present” and mis-representing what Christ did, there can be no doubt whatsoever that if the Church in the most recent 40 years were to have tended to err, it would be a tendency to err on the side of mis-representing what was actually going on than merely picking different things to emphasize out of all that was going on. One simple illustration: how many times have you heard the mass referred to as a “meal” or “celebration” without any hint much less mention of sacrifice by the modernists?

  13. AutoLos says:

    Still trying to make arrangements on whose feet to wash >_>

  14. Josephus Corvus says:

    Maybe they could do like my mom’s NO parish does – don’t choose anybody. Just have one chair up there and whoever wants can come up and have the priest wash their feet. Actually, there are two chairs. The other one is if a parishioner wants to wash somebody else’s feet (like his wife, not a complete stranger).

  15. TomG says:

    The beauty of an FSSP parish (mine) is that it is not done at all.

  16. Imrahil says:

    Dear Jerome Charles,

    for one thing, Episcopal Conferences tend not to critize Popes, except for their conservatism (if applicable).

    For another, the USCCB itself in the article you linked to expressly says: Those who are chosen from among the people of God are led by the ministers to seats prepared in a suitable place”, emphasis mine. So, those able to read are clearly in advantage, as we Germans say (which is a thing not meant as an offense). “From among the people of God”. That means: baptized Catholics. The others don’t so really (non-Catholic Christians in one way, catechumens in another, perhaps Jews in a distinctly lesser third) or not at all (others) belong to the people of God

    And of course, a rite which expressly symbolizes, among other things perhaps, but even chiefly, the forgiveness of the little sins when the big ones have already been forgiven (or else, the post-Baptism sins when the one unrepeatable bath of Baptism has already been conferred), can of course not meaningfully include the unbaptized – Pope or no Pope, moving or not moving.

  17. Imrahil says:

    Sorry for the inverting mess.

  18. BrionyB says:

    I understand the point about the foot-washing ritual as a sign of mercy and humility towards others. These are excellent virtues that we should all cultivate, but to me it’s a bit like the sign of peace/handshaking, which sometimes seems a substitute for genuine charity.

    My personal experiences of churches in my local area (as a returning Catholic after many years) bear out my working hypothesis that there’s an inverse correlation between what I call liturgical virtue signalling (including a preponderance of hymns of the “All are welcome” variety) and the actual warmth and friendliness and generosity of the parish community.

    And yes, you should be able to have both. There’s no logical reason a virtue-signaller can’t be genuinely virtuous as well. But… it often doesn’t work that way in practice. Ritual changes us, for better or worse.

    So let our sacred liturgies be oriented towards God, as they should be, and let our everyday lives be focused on having charity towards those we encounter (including, maybe especially, in all the little humble and unseen ways). Both are important, both can change hearts, but trying to do both at once often means we end up doing neither.

  19. Jerome Charles says:

    Imrahil, I understand that interpretation, but can we truly say “the people of God” are only baptized Christians? If all people are created by God, are they not all “people of God?” And your point about being able to get our feet washed if we have not been forgiven– I’ve just never heard that connection. Appreciate your sharing your thoughts and your take on this, but I don’t agree with them. Which is ok– I don’t need to convince you or anyone, or vice versa. It’s interesting to discuss ideas.

  20. Kathleen10 says:

    Check and see what the Protestants are writing in their bulletins. That oughta clear it up.

    It is my understanding the washing of the feet was something Christ did to show the apostles how they ought to treat others, that He was not above washing the feet and so they certainly needed to remember true humility and practice that humility with others, as opposed to fake humility which is words. This entire washing of Muslim’s and prisoners feet has become just another bizarre escapade into maudlin theatrics and completely off the original point. No offense intended to those who by some miracle still find it moving.

  21. THREEHEARTS says:

    let us be honest and try to answer this question, “What would 12 Hebrew men ‘hermaneuticly’ believe, from the customs of their times, what happened when their feet were washed?” Hebraic custom taught that when you entered a new house, water was placed at the entrance and the dust of the road was washed off. Even Muslims have a lavabo at the door of their mosques for the same reason. Middle easterners or Semites considered the dust as a symbol of worldly sin. They removed the sin of the world by the washing of feet in clean water. We can say the newly washed apostles, even tho’ the screeching and scratchy pensters will deny facts would naturally accept this fact. The Apostles were baptized by One whom they knew as the Son of God and would accept this fact
    Also realize they were prepared for this by John son of the Aaronite Zachary a priest of the Temple with his practices at the Bethany crossing on the banks f the Jordan. There was a symbolism there that even the Sadducees accepted. Paul knew about it too as without a shadow of doubt he was studying at the Temple three years before. He know and could say to offer a imperfect sacrifice was a sacrilege. Jesus had earlier showed his disgust at imperfect animals when he destroyed the farmyard and its laborers in the Temple at the start of his ministry.

  22. THREEHEARTS says:

    I would like to remind you that we are all God’s creation but for Him to acknowledge us as His creature might just be a different kettle of fish. First reason to justify my words and I am repeating what 80 years as a Catholic has taught me. We have free will; as my Jesuit teacher always profoundly said often, “we have free will, then we must have an informed conscience and then we have the burden of choice”. Since the profane changes made after the Second Vatican council changes made by foolish pastors without good memories and do not remember the teaching that the Church is the Mystical body of Christ and as Christ is the Son of God, She cannot change Her mind. Scripture says so, Moses was told, “I am who am”. Church teaching tells us therefore God cannot change or be changed. Your question now is probably what is the difference between creature and creation and can or will or did He either as Father or Son give any indication He would cut us off from His Presence. I have been over eighty years a Catholic and before 1964 we were very cognizant that He could and did. Again in scriptures Jesus said and He did speak using a conditional preposition say, “If you love Me, you will Keep My commandments”. It is an undeniable fact many of God’s directives were written by the prophets with a conditional verb sense, “Thou shalt not” is a phrase they used or written on stone by God Himself.
    What did God do? What was his customary act? Read Wisdom chapter one
    [1] Love justice, you that are the judges of the earth. Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart. [2] For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in him. [3] For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise: [4] For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins. [5] For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.
    What did David believe and how did he pray in his great act of contrition,
    Psalm 50 the Miserere
    [11] Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. [12] Create a clean heart in me, O God: and renew a right spirit within my bowels. [13] Cast me not away from thy face; and take not thy holy spirit from me. [14] Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and strengthen me with a perfect spirit. [15] I will teach the unjust thy ways: and the wicked shall be converted to thee.
    He believed he could loose God’s love, that is the Divine Eternal Holy Spirit of Supernatural Love and Sanctifying Grace. As St Basil write, “It is easy to loose the Holy Spirit and so hard to get Him back” David was a favorite of God the Father and he knew of the punishment he deserved for his adultery. A punishment the present day apostles conveniently have forgotten. How about Jesus who colloquially in modern parlance told Peter, his close and loved friend, to get out of His sight and hermaneuticly “get thee behind me satan”.
    We need baptism to enter into God’s people. “You shall be My people and I shall be your God’. What I ask and there are many scriptural quotes one can use, what if God has to deny us because of his perfection? We can loose God’s love and it is hard to get back. Without a solemn Baptism by a Sacrificial Minister who is a priest of the Apostolic Succession who can forgive sins we cannot enter into His people. Even the Hebrews knew that original sin barred them from the grace that sanctifies. I know of the emergency phrase but that does not have the profane meaning given it today, What it did say was, “anyone can baptist in the case of emergency but as soon as possible a baptism by a priest must be done”. And a corollary was added later, the emergency baptism must be done with the Catholic Church’s desire uppermost. I cannot see a baptist or any sect outside the Catholic Faith wanting the child or adult to be catholic.

  23. Joe in Canada says:

    I wouldn’t have thought a teenage Muslim girl in prison needs to be taught humility.

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