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Thursday in Holy Week

Updated: Apr 5, 2023


Martyrology - 6th of April

Upon the 6th day of April, were born into the better life:

At Rome, the blessed martyr, Pope Sixtus I, who ruled the Church, [in the years 117-127,] in the time of the Emperor Hadrian, and, under the Emperor Antoninus Pius, cheerfully welcomed the death of the body that so he might gain Christ.

In Macedonia, the holy martyrs Timothy and Diogenes, [in the year 345.]

In Persia, [at Adiabene,] an hundred and twenty holy martyrs, [about the year 344.]

At Ascalon, the holy martyrs Platonides and two others.

At Carthage, the holy martyr Marcellinus, who was slain by heretics, [in the year 413,] because he defended the Catholic faith.

At Rome, the holy Confessor, Pope Celestine [I, in the years 422-432,] who condemned Nestorius, Archbishop of Constantinople, and drave out Pelagius. It was by his authority that the holy General Council of Ephesus was held against the said Nestorius.

In Ireland, the holy Confessor Kelly, Archbishop of Armagh, [in the year 1128,] in the which see he came immediately before blessed Maleachlan.

In Denmark, holy William, Abbot [of Eskill,] famous for his life and miracles, [born 1105, died 1202.] [Of the order of Canons Regular of St Victor, Nephew of Hew, 42nd Abbot of St. Germain des Pres.]

And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God


Morning Prayer

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Place Yourself in the Presence of God, and adore His holy Name.

Most holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present: I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty.

An Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

An Act of Hope

O my God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

An Act of Love

O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Thank God for All Favours and Offer Yourself to Him.

O my God, I most humbly thank Thee for all the favours Thou hast bestowed upon me up to the present moment. I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart that Thou hast created me after Thine own image and likeness, that Thou hast redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy dear Son, and that Thou hast preserved me and brought me safe to the beginning of another day. I offer to Thee, O Lord, my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day. I consecrate them all to the glory of Thy name, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour they may all find acceptance in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory.

Resolve to Avoid Sin and to Practice Virtue.

Adorable Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavour this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here name any besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake.

Ask God for the Necessary Graces.

O my God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good without Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace; proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid anything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practise the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me.

The Lord’s Prayer...

The Hail Mary...

The Apostles’ Creed...

At this point, please go to the relevant text of Fr Hamon’s Meditation. Once I have read and meditated on the text, and its various points . I complete my meditation by saying:

Evening Prayer


Holy Thursday: The Institution of the Eucharist and of the Priesthood

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

We will meditate tomorrow upon the two great mysteries which this holy day recalls to our memory; that is to say: first, the institution of the Eucharist; second, the institution of the priesthood. We will then make the resolution: first, to make the best communion of the year tomorrow; second, to pass the whole of the day in a great feeling of gratitude towards Jesus Christ for the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of a holy Abbot: “O God! prodigal of Thyself through love for us” (Guerric, Abbot, in Fest. Pent.).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us transport ourselves in spirit to the Last Supper, where Jesus Christ, on the eve of His death, assembled His apostles together, like the good father of a family who, being near his end, assembles his children round his death-bed in order to address to them his last farewells, to inform them of his last wishes, and to leave them the legacy which his love has provided for them. It is then, above all, that he testifies to them how much he has loved them (John xiii:1). Let us assist with resolution and love at this touching spectacle, and let us meditate on the two great mysteries of the day, the institution of the Eucharist and the institution of the priesthood.

The institution of the Eucharist

Let us first admire Jesus Christ on His knees before His apostles and washing their feet, in order to show to all coming ages what profound humility and what perfect charity are required by the sacrament which He is about to institute and they to receive. Then He places Himself at the supper-table, takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, and distributes it among His apostles, saying to them, “Take ye and eat, this is My body” Then, in the same way, He takes the cup, and gives it to them, saying, “Drink ye all of this, for this is My blood of the New Testament which shall be shed for many unto remission of sins” (Matt. xxvi:26–28). Oh, who can help recognising in all this the love of Jesus Christ! The divine Saviour on the eve of quitting us cannot bear to be separated from us; I will not leave you orphans (John xiv:18), He had said; My Father recalls Me, but in going back to Him I shall not be separated from you. My death is fixed in the eternal decrees, but in dying I shall know how to survive Myself in order to remain with you. My wisdom has found the means, My love is about to carry them into execution. In consequence, He changes the bread into His body, the wine into His blood; and in virtue of the inseparable union of the soul with the body and the blood, in virtue of the indissoluble unity of the divine Person with human nature, what was formerly only bread and wine is now the adorable Person of Jesus Christ, whole and entire, His sacred Person, as great, as powerful as it is at the right hand of the Father, governing the whole universe, adored by the angels who tremble in His presence (Preface of the Mass).

This miracle is followed by another. What I have just done, Jesus Christ says, you, My apostles, will also do; I give to you the power, and not only to you, but to all your successors down to the end of time, because the Eucharist, being the soul of religion and its essence, ought to last as long as it itself will last. Such is the rich inheritance which Jesus Christ has provided for His children throughout the course of ages; such is the testament which this good father of a family at the moment of His departure has made in favour of His children; His dying hands have written it and signed it with His blood; such is the benediction which this good Jacob gave to His sons assembled around Him before leaving them. O precious inheritance! Dear and amiable testament! rich benediction! My God! my God! how shall I thank Thee enough for so much love?

Institution of the priesthood

It seemed, Lord, as though Thou hadst exhausted all the riches of Thy love towards us, and yet behold, a fresh marvel is revealed. It is no longer only the Eucharist which is given us on this holy day; it is the priesthood with all the sacraments, with the holy Church, with an infallible authority to teach us, power to govern, grace to bless, wisdom to direct. For all that is essentially connected with the Eucharist, either as a preparation disposing the soul to receive it, or as a consequence to preserve and develop the fruits of it. Consequently, Jesus Christ, as the Sovereign Pontiff, was able to bestow, and really did bestow all these powers, by the single word: Do this. O priesthood, which dost enlighten, purify, and inflame the souls of men, which dost dispense on earth the mysteries of God and the riches of grace; priesthood, which, helpful to the soul which has fallen as well as to the just, makest repentance to be felt and openest to us heaven, which dost gather together sinners and dost give them back their innocence; priesthood, which dost sustain the wavering soul and enablest it to make progress in virtue; which dost protect the world against itself and against corruption; against Heaven and its vengeance; priesthood, ineffable benefit, I bless thee, and I bless God for having given thee to the world. Alas! what would the world be without thee, without thee who art its sun, its light, and its heat, its consolation, its strength, and its support? O holy Thursday! thrice blessed day, which has procured so much happiness for the children of Adam, never can we celebrate you

with enough piety, fervour, and love.

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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