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Catholic Activity: Holy Thursday in the Home with the Trapp Family

Maria Trapp describes how her family celebrates Holy Thursday in the home, including simple guidelines for lunch and dinner.

DIRECTIONS

On Thursday morning all the bells in church are rung during the Gloria, after which they remain silent until Saturday morning. The children believe that they fly to Rome to be blessed by the Holy Father. Throughout Thursday and Friday and Saturday morning the job of summoning the faithful is taken over by a wooden clapper.

And so it is in our house. The bell-ringing for the meals or family devotions is also substituted by a hand clapper. It is handled by the youngest member of the family, who announces solemnly from door to door with a terrific noise that lunch is ready.

Holy Thursday has a menu all its own. For the noon meal we have the traditional spring herb soup and afterward, spinach with fried eggs. The evening finds the family around the festive supper table in Sunday clothes for a solemn celebration.

At the father's place are specially made hot cross buns and a cup of wine for every member of the household. Making the sign of the Cross over the first bun while breaking it he hands it, together with a cup of wine, to the mother, and then down the line to all the others in the same way.

The family waits, standing, until the father has blessed bread and wine for every one. Then they sit down and slowly eat and drink "in His memory," while the father reads the Gospel of the Last Supper.

After this, the Easter Lamb is brought in. It should be barbecued or roasted as a whole. The father, carving it, serves it to the members of his family. There should not be anything left over. Afterwards, the members of the family take turns going to church, where the Blessed Sacrament is kept on a special altar among flowers and candles, not exposed, however, but locked up in the tabernacle in memory of that night in prison. So we all take turns keeping Him company.

Activity Source: Your Home, A Church in Miniature by Compiled by The Family Life Bureau in the early 1950s, The Neumann Press, Long Prairie, Minnesota, 1994

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