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Prelude to Good Friday

Foot-washing, Last Supper observed on Holy Thursday

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Prelude to Good Friday

During Holy Thursday's Liturgy of the Word, Father Michael Brady kisses the book of Holy Scriptures in the traditional gesture after the reading of the gospel.


POSTED April 2, 2010 2:59 a.m.
It was a scene repeated all over the world, from the Vatican to the far flung Catholic churches all over the world: priests at St. Anthony of Padua in Manteca washing the feet of parishioners during the Holy Thursday evening service. The solemn occasion also was in remembrance of the Last Supper shared by Jesus with his disciples before his death on Calvary which is being commemorated today, Good Friday.

During his brief homily after the reading of the gospel, St. Anthony’s Pastor Father Patrick Walker, said that the last few days have been very particularly difficult for Pope Benedict XVI with the swirling “accusations of pedophilia” among the clergy. “And what does the pope do at this night?” he asked.

The pontiff washes the feet of those who came to the Holy Thursday service, he said. Bishop Stephen Blaire, he added, is asking everyone to pray for the pope and all the church officials in Rome.

“In the midst of all these accusations, the church continues to act in ‘Persona Christi,’ in the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior,” the pastor said.

The service concluded with the pastor, followed by the other members of the clergy, carrying “Christ’s Body present in the consecrated Host” during a procession inside the church to the “Altar of Repose, where it will remain ‘entombed’ until the communion service on Good Friday.” Just as the disciples stayed with Jesus during his agony on the Mount of Olives before the betrayal by Judas, the faithful have the rest of Holy Thursday night praying in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Concelebrating in the bilingual service with Father Walker were parochial vicars Dante Dammay and Alvaro Lopez, and weekend assistant Father Michael Brady. The combined choirs of the church ministered in music, singing hymns in English and Spanish.
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