Allen Shibu, Keighley
The solemn feast of Maundy Thursday or, as it is commonly known, holy Thursday, was celebrated slightly differently in St. Annes Church of Keighley, in the Leeds region of England, as stated by the Mandate of Pope Francis. For the first time in almost half a century, the feet of female volunteers were washed alongside the males in the ceremony of the washing of the feet. The local Priest, Canon Michael McCreadie, acted upon this ordinance by publically inviting the female members of the congregation beforehand, to have their feet washed in the special ritual
Maundy Thursday is the Christian holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical Gospels. This was in accordance to the latest decree by Pope Francis, allowing the feet of women to be washed in the Mandatum ceremony. The word MANDATUM was deprived from the Latin phrase ‘MANDATUM NOVUM’, meaning ‘a new commandment’, and is referring to JOHN 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Women have not participated in this ceremony since the mid-1950s and although experts say the decree has symbolic significance and implications for church law, it has suddenly been widely accepted by the church.
In St Annes Church of Keighley, Yorkshire, the mass was initiated with a slow procession to the altar, and the opening prayers and hymns were sung as usual. Once the Gospel and sermon had finished, the Mandatum ceremony was performed.
Just as the pope had dictated, multiple females were involved as well. After that, the Eucharist was celebrated as normal, and at the end of mass, the Blessed Sacrament was silently transferred to the shrine of the sacred heart of Jesus.
Many different communities, including the Indian, Italian, Slovakian, Polish and Ukrainian
communities were present at the mass and some
participated in the Mandatum ceremony. At this moment, an all-night Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is taking place, and everyone in the community is invited to a little time with the lord.
Tomorrow, at 3 o clock, there will also be a ceremonious mass to also commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus.