Thursday, April 05, 2007

Jueves Santo en Parroquia San Cristóbal

Tonight we had our Maunday Thursday or Jueves Santo service at San Cristóbal,
just like you did at your parish. We did all the stuff you did at your parish: feet washing, procession of the Reserved Sacrament to the Garden of Repose, and the Stripping of the Altar and the cleaning of the chancel with the left over chrism oil. Our Holy Week services are all bilingual, so that may different from what you do at your parish.

One tradition at St. Christopher's that I hadn't encountered anywhere else also happens on Maunday Thursday. My first year at St. Christopher's, after we had stripped the altar, an acolyte suddenly appeared at my side holding the chalice with the left over wine from the Eucharist and an elaborately folded palm. She told me I was to pour the wine on the altar and spread it about with the palm. I was amazed by this tradition, because I realized immediately what I was to do; it is similar to the purification ritual of Yom Kippur as detailed in Leviticus 16:18-19. This has become a very important part of my Holy Week observance.

Tomorrow is Good Friday. In Panama everything closes down for Good Friday. Actually, most businesses closed at noon today. Even the television and radio stations go off the air for Good Friday. It is also against the law to buy or sell alcohol on Good Friday. They tape off the alcohol section in the grocery store with that yellow tape used at crime scenes; you can't even go down that aisle! From what I understand, this is to keep drunk bozos from going out and hurting Jews after hearing the terrible version of the Passion from the Gospel of John.

Photos by the Lovely Mona.

All Regular Friday Features Will Be Suspended For Good Friday But Will Return Next Week.

1 comment:

Juanuchis said...

Thanks to the Lovely Mona for the wonderful fotos. I love the little alter and all the maticas.

Very interesting tradition of the wine and palm, also.

Thanks, Padre.

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