Special Meal Prayers for the Sacred Triduum with a mini-seminar on Jewish shabbat, Passover and the timing of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion

Did you know that there are proper table blessing, meal prayers for great feast days and for the Sacred Triduum?

I made a post and podcast about this some time ago.

However, seeing that it is Holy Thursday, I thought you might want to be ready for the evening meal and perhaps give these prayers a try.

In the aforementioned post, I wrote about these little booklets from a budding monastic community in S. France, the Monastère Saint-Benoît.    They are doing great things there, including rebuilding an old Abbey.

Here are pages for the Triduum.

On another note… speaking of prayers and meals….

… our Jewish friends are getting ready for Passover, which begins Friday evening.

Just as we have a time before which the Easter Vigil must NOT begin, fixed by sunset, so too Jews have a time for the lighting of candles for their Shabbat meal.    This time is special because at dawn of 14 Nissan – Friday, 15 April, it is Ta’anit Bechorot of the Hebrew Year 5782.  This is the Fast of the First Born, and only firstborns must fast.  You remember the fate of the firstborn at that first Passover who were not in houses marked with the blood.  The portion of Torah to be read is from Exodus 32:11-14 and 34:1-10.

In the evening on Friday for Erev Pesach, where I am (the timing depends on your location on the planet because sunset differs) candle lighting is 19:28 and on Saturday evening 20:23 for Pesach.  The Portion for Saturday is Exodus 12:21-51 and Numbers 28:16-25.

Pesach, Passover of Unleavened Bread, lasts an Octave, like our Easter Octave.

BTW… this is important to know if we want to figure out the timing of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion of the Lord.  The Gospel accounts seem to give different timelines.  However, they can be resolved if we understand how Passover and the Shabbat work together in different years.  In John 19:13, Christ is brought before Pilate on the day of Preparation for Passover which sounds as if it is before the sacrifice of the lambs.  However, it is the preparation for the sabbath, the Friday during that “octave” of Passover.  So, Jesus and the Apostles eat the Passover, Last Super meal and the next day, a Friday, He is crucified.  And the Jews wanted to get the bodies of the men down from the crosses before sunset because it was preparation for the shabbat within the observance week of Passover, hence it was the Preparation Day for the SHABBAT within the Passover “octave”, not Preparation Day for PASSOVER.    So, both the Synoptic Gospels and John are right.  You just have to understand the terms.   If you don’t get that, then non-Catholic scholars like Joachim Jeremias accuses John of changing the timeline so that Christ was crucified at the time of the slaughter of the lambs.  This same guy, by the way, was the Lutheran whom the modernist liturgists leaned on to distort the translation of Latin “pro multis” into “for all”.

But that’s  another story.

And, for the sake of completeness, the Vigil of Easter is to be celebrated “noctu… at night”.

The rubrics for this rite, as found in the 2002MR says this is “nox“, night.

3. Tota celebratio Vigliae paschalis peragi debet noctu, ita ut vel non incipiatur ante initium noctis, vel finiatur ante diluculum diei dominicae.

The whole celebration of the Paschal Vigil ought to be completed at night, both so that it does not begin before the beginning of night, and that it finishes before dawn of Sunday.

The 1988 Circular of the CDW, called Paschale solemnitatis (Notitiae 24 [1988] pp. 81-107) dealt with the time of the beginning of the Vigil,

78. This rule is to be taken according to its strictest senseReprehensible [!] are those abuses and practices which have crept in many places in violation of this ruling, whereby the Easter Vigil is celebrated at the time of day that it is customary to celebrate anticipated Masses.

You can work this out if you understand when the end of Astronomical Twilight occurs in your location.  Adjust for daylight savings and think through it.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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