I think that of the three Paschal Triduum Liturgies, Holy Thursday is by far my most favorite.
This year is my first time to experience the Paschal Triduum as a so-called “retired” priest. At my request, the rector of our Cathedral Basilica graciously consented to allow me to participate in the Cathedral’s Holy Thursday Mass at 7 PM with Bishop Stephen Parkes, the celebrant. He also allowed me to spend the night so that I can participate in the Passion Liturgy of Good Friday at the Cathedral at 12 noon followed by Confessions which I will help to hear.
On Easter Sunday I remain on Hilton Head Island to celebrate the three added Masses that Holy Family Church will have. My Masses will be in the original church, now social hall and these are at 7:45 AM; 9:15 AM and 10:45 AM. There are three Masses in the church, which seats 1,000 a half hour earlier than my three! It will be controlled chaos. This caters to all the tourists that are here on the island, many on vacation from Augusta during Master’s Week and many coming to the island for the Heritage Golf Tournament which begins with practice rounds on Easter Monday. Tourist season is in full swing, but Easter Sunday’s weather prediction is rain and in the 60’s, yuck.
Here is my last Holy Thursday at St. Anne Church in Richmond Hill last year:
Fr. Robert, parochial vicar, washing the feet of 12 men (I can’t get on my knees any longer to do this over an extended period).