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Catholic Prayer: Holy Thursday in the Home

Description:

For Holy Thursday the family can institute some special customs. Listed here are a few customs from the Trapp Family and the Mexican custom of visiting churches on Holy Thursday evening.

Prayer:

The Trapp family which we mentioned above, because they live on a farm, call the members of the family to dinner and to prayers by a bell. On the last three days of Holy Week they imitate the Church in her use of a hand clapper. The youngest child has the honor of solemnly announcing the meals and devotions, using this, by no means silent instrument. At noon of Holy Thursday they have the traditional spring herb soup and fried eggs. For the evening meal, all of the family dress in their Sunday clothes for a solemn celebration in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.

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 (Cf. Schmiedeler, E., Your Home, A Church in Miniature, I, Family Life Bureau, p. 33-34).

After this ceremony is over, the traditional Easter Lamb is served. Later in the evening the whole family goes to the church to take turns at keeping Christ company.

Among the Mexicans, there is a custom of going on pilgrimage on foot to as many churches as possible to visit the Blessed Sacrament on this day. Although it might be impossible for us to imitate them in this, we should if possible, take the children to visit Our Lord in "His prison" in one or two churches.

Prayer Source: How to Make Your House a Home by Rev. Bernard Stokes, O.F.M., Family Life Bureau, Washington D.C., 1955
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