Great Thursday is the beginning of the Holy Easter Tridium, the three holy days that are the direct celebration of Easter. With this dinner, Jesus begins his transition from patience and death to resurrection, and invites us to this transition.
Holy Thursday is a commemoration of the establishment of the sacraments of the Eucharist and the priesthood. On this day, we have the opportunity to especially realize how much we owe to the priests.
Many believers gathered in the chapel of the Christian Social Center, who congratulated the cs. Alyaxandr Ulas and cs. Alyaxandr Shamritsky happy Priesthood Day. The children read sincere poems, and the adults thanked: “We praise the Lord for the priests who serve in the church and are a sign of the Living God for the whole universe”.
Ks. Alyaxandr Ulas said:
“The Last dinner, the Eucharist, Holy Mass, Mass, Misa, Holy Sacrament, holiness… each of these names emphasizes the special character of the sacrament that gives life. But this sacrament would not exist without the second sacrament-the priesthood. An ordinary person does unusual things, because he is someone, who in his own words invites God Himself to enter this world, to come to the altar. And the word becomes a body again. Ordinary bread becomes a body. Ordinary wine becomes blood. An ordinary person has extraordinary power, because he is invited by God. It is chosen from people and is intended for people. Priests are needed in a special way today, as the world ceases to walk the path of salvation. There must be people who will remind you that the main goal is not wealth and power, but first of all, life with God. Very often a priest is called a “man of God” because he comes into the world to preach God”.
Ks. Alyaxandr Shamritsky stressed that every christed person is a priest in a certain sense. On Holy Thursday, a service was established that concerns each of us. Service, when the Lord Jesus worships a person and serves him with great love.
Great Thursday is a holiday of mutual love. At the end of the sermon, the rector addressed the faithful with wishes that everyone should try to arouse in themselves the passion and desire for the Eucharist that the first Christians had, experiencing each liturgy as the last. So that everyone, taking an example from Christ and accepting his love, would be able to serve others.
The liturgy of Great Thursday was completed by the rite of transferring the Holy Sacramento to a prepared place symbolizing the prison where Jesus was imprisoned after his arrest. This rite directs us to experience the mystery of unity with the torments of Christ. The tabernacle remains empty. The priest goes in a procession with the Holy Gifts to the place symbolized by the olive garden, where Jesus waited in agony for arrest. He asked the apostles to hear and pray with him. A boat is made in the chapel, which is a symbol of the priests.
At the end of the Holy Mass, when the priests went to the sacristy, everything that was on the altar was removed. There was only an empty, «naked» altar, not covered by anything. This is an important symbol, as if a person was taken and stripped of his canopy. Which is actually what is happening, because it is after this liturgy on Holy Thursday that Christ enters a state of complete humiliation. Jesus Christ gives the opportunity to give Himself completely to people.
See photos in the album “Great Thursday”.