Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Maundy Thursday

Fr. Daniel keeps on throwing me curves, I'm beginning to feel a bit like fellow Anglican blogger Wannabe Newbie Anglican in his first year as an Anglican. (Truth in advertising says he ought to rename it to "Pundit Anglican" or some such now, but in any case I'll soon be able to revisit his and other blogs when my self-imposed disconnect from the wider world of Anglicanism ends.)

In any case, after a long hard day at the office where I didn't exactly go backwards but I didn't really advance either; more work just piled itself up in front me with an unyielding deadline, so I had to miss the noon service. I arrived for Evensong and Holy Communion with my brain aching, exhausted and almost nervously twitching as it prepared to, um, yield up the ghost.

I knew I was on deck for one of the services this evening but to do what at which, for the life of me I couldn't remember. And of course my notes were at home. It was probably best that I wasn't serving at Evensong; I was sufficiently recovered to be Epistler for Holy Communion.

In any event, I remember Maundy Thursday Holy Communion services and so I fully expected the Mass of the Pre-sanctified Elements (or something like that -- my brain is still a bit fuzzy). And so I wasn't surprised when Fr. Daniel brought out the Elements from Aumbry. But I was quite surprised when he launched into the Consecration. Definitely different: was he re-consecrating consecrated elements? were there unconsecrated elements in the Aumbry? All of a sudden I was lost.

I asked him about this right afterwards. It turned out he had unconsecrated elements present so that the words of the Prayer of Consecration could be said. An excellent point: when, pray tell, in the year would they be more poignant than on Maundy Thursday?

Live and learn. This old grasshopper thanks you, Fr. Daniel.


  • At 10:14 PM, Blogger An Anglican Geek said…

    I was thrown off as well (as you no doubt noticed), but for different reasons. I've never seen the so-called Mass of the Pre-Sanctified celebrated on Maundy Thursday; I've only ever seen it celebrated on Good Friday. Then again, I've been told that the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified is a Tridentine innovation borrowed from the East, where I was told they do it every day of Holy Week (and that they don't call it a Mass, as there is no consecration).

    The 1894 revision of Ritual Notes doesn't mention Communion from the Reserved Sacrament on Maundy Thursday. (Please note that I'm by no means an advocate of using Ritual Notes). Dearmer mentions the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified in the Parson's Handbook (which I prefer to Ritual Notes, although it is less detailed). He says:

    "Anciently, three Hosts were consecrated on Maundy-Thursday: the second was consumed by the priest at the Mass of the Presanctified (of which the custom of using the Ante-Communion office is a representation), the third Host was deposited in the Easter Sepulchre, which was not the same thing as the urn on the Roman ‘altar of repose.’"

    I like the idea of Ante-Communion on Good Friday, but I could do without the Mass of the Pre-Sanctified.

    I fear this comment will make me appear a Ritualist, which I'm not. I think the most important thing, today, is to be mindful of and thankful for the four important events that took place on this day we commemorate:

    * Our Lord's institution of his Holy Supper
    * Our Lord's new Mandate (from which we get Maundy), exemplified by his washing of the disciples' feet
    * Our Lord's anguish and obedience in Gethsemane
    * and the fulfillment of the Prophets when our Lord was betrayed by the Son of Perdition

    Of course, I'm a neophyte where liturgical study is concerned, so please don't hold me to any of this!

    There is one thing about which I most definitely agree with you: I can think of no better day to celebrate, fully celebrate, our Lord's Holy Supper than Maundy Thursday.

    Faithfully yours,


  • At 5:27 AM, Blogger An Anglican Geek said…

    That comment read awfully pedantic. I'm sorry. I didn't intend it thus.

  • At 7:41 AM, Blogger Continuing Home said…

    Drew, LOL. My memory could be wrong, but I do not recall having Mass on Good Friday at all (these were details to which, as a member of the laity and until more recently just an infrequent server, I never paid close attention). I only remember the vigils.

    "Ritual Notes," "Parson's Handbook," you've lost me.

    But thanks for associating Mandate with "Maundy" -- I forgot to do that.


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