We are starting our Easter triduum already and I did my part by attending this morning's Chrism Mass at the Vatican with the Holy Father, Benedict XVI presiding. I brought along my digicam to take some video recordings of the event but I was seated together with my brother priests from the Collegio, a little to far from the altar and the view was mostly obstructed. The Mass was its usual 2+ hour long celebration, with the mandatory renewal of promise by all priests and the blessing of the Oils. If you look here, you'd probably get the similar idea of what happened at the Basilica of St Peter this morning for the Mass. The only difference is Frs Nick and Paul are not there and homily was on another topic...
Later, I also concelebrated with Fr Julian to celebrate the Mass of the Lord's Supper for our sisters at their chapel this evening at 5.00 p.m. We were wondering if there would be any 'washing of the feet' and how we are to proceed with it, seeing there were only sisters in the congregation. The problem was solved since they (sisters) said that there won't be any washing. :-D
After dinner, Fr Julian and myself took a little walk and journeyed to three neighbouring churches near the Collegio: Chiesa di Santa Maria del Riposo, Chiesa San Pio V and Chiesa San Leone Magno. What was striking in our visits to these churches there as they opened for adoration, were the crowds - mostly elderly and middle aged. Nonetheless, the place was generally filled with people and when there were any prayers going on by a group, it was done in a more quiet, meditative manner that was soothing and serene. It was a far cry from what I would be more accustomed to back in Singapore, where the silence is usually filled by some highly charged activities or singing/praying that reverberated through the church walls. Then again, all churches in Singapore get their usual crowds that would easily beat those churches which I went to earlier, so the increased noise factor isn't too surprising.
That's my round of activity for Holy Thursday and I shall put in a little reflection for Good Friday concerning being passive for the right reason. Have a blessed Triduum!
[picture: Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), Cappella Scrovegni a Padova, Life of Christ, Washing of Feet]