Should we attend mass on Holy Thursday?
It is not a holy day of obligation, if that is what you mean. But at our Church, the people find it so meaningful that attendance is nearly the same as Sunday mass.
Holy Thursday begins the Easter Triduum. At the beginning of the the Holy Thursday mass, Lent is over. The services over Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday (Easter Vigil) are ONE CONTINUOUS LITURGY. They include a lot of valuable lessons in Christianity:
*]Service to others (washing of the feet)
*]Institution of the Eucharist (the Last Supper)
*]Institution of the priesthood (the Last Supper)
*]Yield your will to God’s will (the crucifixion)
*]Humble gratitude (veneration of the Cross)
*]The Salvation Story of Humanity (Holy Saturday readings)
*]Miracles (sacrament reception for RCIA elect)
*]Rejoicing! (He is Risen!)
As one man in my parish likes to say, by participating in these liturgies, we are actually living the events ourselves. We are not remembering them. We are not re-living them. We are actually living them in our lives. On Palm Sunday, in participating in the reading of the Passion narrative, the congregation responds, “Crucify Him!” We actually crucify Christ every time we turn away from him - with our actions, with our deeds, with our words.
Do we have to attend Mass on Holy Thursday? No. We are not obligated by Canon Law or USCCB decree. Should we attend all the Easter Triduum services? By attending them, we draw our focus closer to God, His will, and His sacrifice for us.
I think I’ll go all three days. I need more of Him in my life.
While there is no ecclesial law mandating that we should go, we are bound by the obligation of love.
This is what I wrote on my blog:
Wherever you are during Holy Week, I urge you to make time to attend the Triduum in your parishes. Some of you, perhaps, are in areas where such attendance is difficult and the circumstances are such that they may prove to be a hardship. Nonetheless, you can spiritually join your brothers and sisters throughout the world in prayer.
To those of you who are able to attend, the Church does not obligate us by ecclesial law to attend; however, there is a greater obligation, the obligation of love that compels us to want to be with Jesus. Love compels us, like St. Mary Magdalene, to accompany Jesus from the Last Supper onward. Lent is all about preparing us for these great days. Let us go out to meet the Lord.
You can find the rest here:
There is something else to consider about the Sacred Triduum. With the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Church concludes the Lenten season. Tonight, she invites her children to gather together much as Ancient Israel did, to celebrate the Sacred Triduum, our Passover, where Christ our true Lamb is sacrificed.
The Triduum consists of three parts: the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday, the Commemoration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday and the Easter Vigil. These are not three distinct components. They are one complete liturgy, beginning with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper and concluding with the final blessing at the Easter Vigil.
I hope this helps.
Regarding questions of mass attendence, I always find the best policy is:
When the question is “MUST WE attend mass on…” , consult here: beginningcatholic.com/catholic-holy-days-of-obligation.html
When the question is “SHOULD WE attend mass on…” the answer is always “yes, if possible!”
One word yes!!!
I find it to be one of the most moving Masses of the year. I highly encourage you to go if you can.
From a obligation point of view no. From the Lent perspectiv i would say yes.
Despite the Metro here being pulled for easter due to construction work and unregular buslines, i will attend all massed from today to next monday.
(sidenote: even due to the fact that im now battling a bad flu going on, yes i will keep away from other people and probably not recieve communion - at least today to not infect the priest).
It is a beautiful Mass, and the adoration time at the end is just a wonderful way to transition from Lent to the Triduum. My favorite Mass all year!
Our priest told our second graders that Holy Week is “the SuperBowl week of the Catholic Faith”. Something you don’t want to miss.