Friday, March 21, 2008

Holy Thursday

Here at the Cathedral, the Archbishop presides at all the Holy Week stuff, seminarians serve, and we priest get relegated to the 'flower pot' role: stand there and look good, don't get in the way. (There were six present last night, and as that was more than the required number for Communion, I didn't even get to do that!)

Actually, as I posted earlier this week, I don't mind it, as I get to relax and just enjoy the ceremony, and not be worried about what to say in the homily, do the servers know what is happening next, will the choir catch my signal, etc. It is one of the few perks in working in the central offices.

I still wanted to post something of my thoughts about the events of this week, though. It gives me something priestly to do!

First off, thanks for the comments on the posts regarding Judas. There were things brought up that I hadn't considered, and interesting viewpoints. I hope to be able to do more of this sort of thing in the future, as time permits.

While I know that some do not prefer the Washing of the Feet, I think it is a powerful reminder to the priest as to what he is about: his authority comes about from service, and there is an intimate connection between the Eucharist and 'doing as I have done.' Without both dimensions, things can start to fall apart: you get a priest who loves the power and glory, but never visits the hospital; or you get all social justice without the foundation that we experience Christ in the service of others.

I think it is profoundly telling that Christ's last bit of teaching to His disciples is one of humility. It is something I know I need more of, I just wish He didn't make it so obvious!

1 comment:

Adoro te Devote said...

I read an awesome article about the washing of the feet as being the institution of the priesthood some time ago. If I find the link I'll send it your way...or maybe you've already read it.

Anyway, at the Cathedral, althogh I've never been there for Holy Thursday (would have PAID to be there last night), my understanding is that the Archbishop washes the feet of the RCIA candidates/catechumans. I think that's a cool way to handle it.

And you just touched on something I'd asked the priest at my parish (da boss) about the other day. We were talking about Holy Week and all the stuff that goes with it, and I asked him if he even had a chance to really ENJOY it? He had said that in the moment, he's so focused on making sure everything goes the way it's supposed to, that normally the full meaning comes to him later when he has time to reflect on it. And then he said that it's easier when he has good helpers like the DRE and I. (Awwww! Tip: be really nice to your faith formation staff and they will love you forever with undying loyalty!)

Of I'm completely terrified that I'm going to trip over my betraying feet tomorrow as I lead the catechumans to the baptismal font.