Maundy Thursday/Passover Meal

Maundy Thursday, is Jesus’s celebration of the Passover meal with his disciples for the last time before his crucifixion. Often this comes after a traditional foot washing ceremony. At the Passover meal, Jesus gave his disciples the bread and wine and commanded them to do this in remembrance of Him. Frequently, Christian and Catholic Churches celebrate this meal with a local Jewish synagogue to share in the Passover tradition. I have done both myself. Here at the Begijnhof, a Mass is at 5 pm and then the host is taken to a side altar with sisters carrying candles behind and singing in Latin Pangua Lingus. After is a time of still prayer for whomever wants and a lot of people stay in the church. We sisters then return to our monastery and have a meal of fresh bakery buns and sandwich meats and a simple dessert. The highlight though is that it is served by the Prioress and her Subprioress and we other sisters stay seated while served and cleared. I could hardly do it! I am trained to serve (I needed glue on my seat to sit still!) especially when one sister is a good deal older than I. For me, it was truly emotional thinking of Jesus serving his disciples and washing their feet. I felt like Simon Peter “wash not just my feet Lord but all of me.” We are 8 sisters here a little like the 12 apostles. It is hard at my home convent of 60 sisters to get the feel of a Passover meal with a small group of disciples! This meal seemed so like what it must have been like for Jesus. I looked around ……each sister has a distinct character but here we were all together living for Jesus. The Bible definitely does not paint Jesus’s disciples as carbon copies of one another. Each  apostle had  a distinct character. God created each one and used each with their gifts.

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