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  #1  
Old Apr 6, '12, 4:34 am
McGuTim McGuTim is offline
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Default Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Why to we strip the altar at the end of Holy Thursday Mass? When are the linens replaced?
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  #2  
Old Apr 6, '12, 5:40 am
Deo Gratias42 Deo Gratias42 is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

From the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Quote:
The Christian altar represents Christ, and the stripping of the altar reminds us how He was stripped of his garments when He fell into the hands of the Jews and was exposed naked to their insults. It is for this reason that the psalm "Deus, Deus meus" is recited, wherein the Messias speaks of the Roman soldiers dividing His garments among them. This ceremony signifies the suspension of the Holy Sacrifice.
One thing I noticed is this is a more formal affair in the EF than OF. When I attended the OF, the priest stripped the altar while people were leaving.
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Old Apr 6, '12, 5:56 am
Anna Claire Anna Claire is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Yes, it symbolizes Christ entering into his Passion, being stripped of his garments. We have entered into the Sacred Triduum...there is no call to worship at mass on Good Friday. We will see a small cloth brought out for the reserved Sacrament and communion service, but the altar remains bare until the Great Vigil on Saturday night.
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  #4  
Old Apr 6, '12, 6:13 am
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Brendan Brendan is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deo Gratias42 View Post
From the Catholic Encyclopedia.


One thing I noticed is this is a more formal affair in the EF than OF. When I attended the OF, the priest stripped the altar while people were leaving.
That happened in our (OF) parish, except it was two altar boys. The priests and the deacon had processed out with the Blessed Sacrament. After they had left, two altar boys remained behind to strip the altar.
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  #5  
Old Apr 6, '12, 6:58 am
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan View Post
That happened in our (OF) parish, except it was two altar boys. The priests and the deacon had processed out with the Blessed Sacrament. After they had left, two altar boys remained behind to strip the altar.
Two years ago, our former pastor insisted that it was his duty to strip the altar. Before that it had been done by the women who looked after the Triduum preparations. His simple manner of standing there, reverently folding the altar cloth slowly, made people stop talking and ensured that they left the church in a way more befitting what we had just experienced.

I was always appalled when, even when the altar of repose was just to the left of the sanctuary, people started talking as soon as the priest stood up after kneeling in adoration. His decision to strip the altar himself stopped the cacophany that would have been present since the altar of repose had been set up in the recently set up chapel.
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Old Apr 6, '12, 7:15 am
PacoG PacoG is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
Two years ago, our former pastor insisted that it was his duty to strip the altar. Before that it had been done by the women who looked after the Triduum preparations. His simple manner of standing there, reverently folding the altar cloth slowly, made people stop talking and ensured that they left the church in a way more befitting what we had just experienced.

I was always appalled when, even when the altar of repose was just to the left of the sanctuary, people started talking as soon as the priest stood up after kneeling in adoration. His decision to strip the altar himself stopped the cacophany that would have been present since the altar of repose had been set up in the recently set up chapel.
We were advised on how to behave before Mass. Father Hilary told us that we were to leave quietly and reverently and that we were to genuflect in the direction of the Altar of Reservation (to the southwest of the Main Altar) and not in the direction of the Main Altar (which we were to bow to). Our three deacons stripped the altar.
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  #7  
Old Apr 6, '12, 5:42 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGuTim View Post
... When are the linens replaced?
At the beginning of the Offertory at the Easter Vigil mass on Saturday evening. We have some of those who have just received the sacraments bring them up in procession which concludes with the procession of the gifts.
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  #8  
Old Apr 6, '12, 6:00 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Kelley View Post
At the beginning of the Offertory at the Easter Vigil mass on Saturday evening. We have some of those who have just received the sacraments bring them up in procession which concludes with the procession of the gifts.
Or prior to the start of the Vigil at the same time as the statues are uncovered.

I've seen and even been involved in dressing the altar at the Offertory but I'm not convinced that it's appropriate. The GIRM calls for a cloth on the altar before Mass not simply for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. If it were an option I'm sure the GIRM would mention it.
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  #9  
Old Apr 6, '12, 6:04 pm
Phemie Phemie is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGuTim View Post
Why to we strip the altar at the end of Holy Thursday Mass? When are the linens replaced?
A white cloth is placed on the altar before the Communion Rite on Good Friday. It is removed again after the Good Friday service is over. The altar is covered with a white cloth before the Vigil.
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  #10  
Old Apr 6, '12, 9:08 pm
Deo Gratias42 Deo Gratias42 is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoG View Post
We were advised on how to behave before Mass. Father Hilary told us that we were to leave quietly and reverently and that we were to genuflect in the direction of the Altar of Reservation (to the southwest of the Main Altar) and not in the direction of the Main Altar (which we were to bow to). Our three deacons stripped the altar.
We had three processions with the blessed sacrament. Prior the priest informed everyone that if they were standing, regardless of where they were, they were to kneel PRIOR to the priest passing them.
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  #11  
Old Apr 6, '12, 9:35 pm
pilots13 pilots13 is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

My college did the, bring the altar cloth up with the gifts, thing and it was the first time I ever saw that done. Theology aside, I found it a nice gesture; we strip the Altar at the end of Thursday after we finish communion, and we redress it on Saturday as we are about to start Communion. Really emphasizes the fact we don't concentrate any hosts in between the two.

That said, they took a turn for the "What?" when they proceeded to do it the 2nd sunday, 3rd sunday, 4th sunday of Easter. At that point it lost all meaning and I had no idea why they were even bothering to do it.

Lastly, our old pastor took the stripping the Altar a step further and stripped the whole sanctuary before dismissing the crowd. Granted there wasn't much for decorations; a few flowers and candles, but he and the Altar servers took it all away before Holy Thursday Mass finished.
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  #12  
Old Apr 7, '12, 1:16 am
simmie simmie is offline
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Default Re: Stripping the altar on Holy Thursday

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phemie View Post
A white cloth is placed on the altar before the Communion Rite on Good Friday. It is removed again after the Good Friday service is over. The altar is covered with a white cloth before the Vigil.
Yes, the stripping of the altar is a symbol of Jesus having his garments removed and to symbolise the solemn time (along with the covering of statues and not ringing the bells between the Gloria on Maunday Thursday and the Easter Vigil).. We have a communion service at Good Friday passion, hence the cloth. But it's removed again. The altar will be redressed at the Easter Vigil tonight.
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