Since being received into the Church I have developed two Holy Thursday traditions. The first is to visit all of the altars of repose in town after the Mass of the Last Supper. It flows from an ancient tradition of visiting three or seven altars as a mini-pilgrimage and that kept in the spirit of praying with Jesus in the Garden. Some say that there was an indulgence attached, but I have never been able to confirm that. In Fargo there were six altars of repose to visit. Some may say that St. Mary’s Cathedral had the most beautiful, but I would have to say that Holy Spirit’s was far more lovely. Getting off track, sorry. I wouldn’t spend too much time at each one because it takes nearly two hours to visit all of them.
The second tradition is to pray a “hybrid” Rosary while visiting these altars. Some people know that I’m not a big fan of JPII’s Luminous mysteries of the Rosary (the reasons will perhaps be discussed in a later post), and I do not pray them on Thursdays, but rather, I pray the old pattern of 15 mysteries that the Blessed Mother gave to us. But on Holy Thursday I am willing to break them out. At each altar as I make my mini-pilgrimage I pray two mysteries of the Rosary; the first is one of the luminous mysteries and the second is one of the sorrowful mysteries. Then at the the sixth altar I pray all of the closing prayers. I love this way of praying the Rosary on Holy Thursday because I think that each Luminous mystery relates well to the corresponding sorrowful mysteries in the context of Passiontide. Go ahead and try this one next year, I think that you’ll like it.
This year my traditions had to change. Unfortunately, Bismarck’s parishes have erratic hours for Eucharistic Adoration at the altars of repose. Some are only open for the hour after Mass and some are open until midnight. And since the times of Mass range from 4:30 to 8:00, some parishes end Adoration before others have even begun the Mass! I was a little sad that I couldn’t do my pilgrimage, but I decided to make the best of it and adapt. So I went to the Cathedral and prayed my luminosorrowful Rosary there and it was great and very solemn, but there was a subtle undertone of joy, yes, joy.
Holy Thursday never ceases to be beautiful and wonderful to me.
Anyways, I am getting ready to leave soon. Heading to Fargo to participate in the Good Friday liturgy (FACTOID: Good Friday is the only day that the Mass is not celebrated anywhere in the world!) and then on to Minneapolis where my sister will be Confirmed tomorrow in the Easter Vigil!