Following on from my post on how to celebrate the pre-1955 Palm Sunday liturgy during lockdown, see below some ideas on how the Maundy Thursday liturgies might be kept at home – in the form of a Missa Sicca or ‘Dry Mass.’
The Mass of Holy Thursday in the traditional pre-55 form is held in the morning. (How child friendly is that?!)
- The family gather in the prayer space/home chapel with white cloths instead of violet. The images etc remain covered.
- Today’s playlist can be found here
- Pages from the Fr Lassance Missal can be printed here, page 447+ or use this booklet
- The chant can be viewed or printed here
The Missa Sicca
- The father of the house leads the family in the confiteor (The Judica Me is omitted in Passiontide) and reads the translation of the Introit before listening to it.
- The Kyrie is listened to or prayed out loud with the father leading and family responding.
- At the Gloria, bells should be rung. This is the last time that bells are heard in the liturgy until the first Gloria of Easter.
- After the Gloria, the Bishop would ordinarily bless and consecrate the holy oils. This is an opportunity to catechise the family on what this entails. We have exorcised oil at home which I use instead of holy water for blessing the family when necessary so this will be used as a focal point. Details can be found here.
- The father leads the collect.
- Listen to the gradual using the playlist or read it aloud. An older child could help with this.
- The mother of the family might read the epistle in the place of the subdeacon.
- An older child might read the Gradual before it is listened to on the playlist.
- The Father reads the Gospel and gives some words of explanation according to the age of the children.
- Sing the Credo
- Sing the offertory
- After the offertory, select some prayers from offertory of the Mass to prepare for a spiritual communion. (Suggestion- Suscipe Sancta Trinitas, asking God to receive all the Masses throughout the world. The preface could be read and the Sanctus sung (See same video as the Kyrie in the playlist). Pater Noster, Agnus Dei, Act of Spiritual Communion, silence.) I have included two beautiful Eucharistic Motets to aid a time of silent prayer.
- Finish the prayers of the Mass. End with “Benedicamus Domino” in place of “Ite Missa Est”
- During the Mass, the priest would usually consecrate an additional host which he would receive on Good Friday. After Mass on Holy Thursday, the priest would process to the altar of repose with the Blessed Sacrament while Pange Lingua Gloriosi is sung. Options in the home could include singing or reading the Pange Lingua, asking your guardian angels to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in your parish church or making a Blessed Sacrament Banner and singing the Pange Lingua in procession around the house and garden and back to the home chapel/prayer space.
- Optional – Vespers follows and is said, not sung. Perhaps the children could be excused now and the adults could pray Vespers. You could skip this step and go to the stripping of the altars.
- After vespers, the altars are stripped of any cloths as psalm 21 is chanted (See pg 14-16 here).
- Usually, there would be adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps we could have one image of Our Lord exposed so that we can revisit the prayer space through the day for ‘adoration’ of Our Lord as we usually would the Blessed Sacrament. Another option would be to set up a device and livestream adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Mandatum or foot washing is optional and was performed separately at a different time. I have included the chants on the playlist. Some families may wish to have the father wash the feet of the family to represent the servant leadership of Jesus. Some may feel that this ceremony is too sacerdotal to be recreated in the home.
As I said last time, this is the maximum that can be done to celebrate the liturgy to the best of our ability at home but, we must be prudent and adapt to what we can achieve in our own setting. To do less and do it well with a prayerful atmosphere is better than forcing your kids to sit through too much and end up causing resentment and or tantrums!
In the evening, Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds of Good Friday) can be prayed. I will put up a separate post on this.