Parish of St. Monica and St. James  
Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
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Maundy Thursday and Overnight Vigil

We celebrate the Last Supper and set the context for all that will take place on Good Friday and Easter.  We read the Gospel “...Having loved his own who were in the world he loved them to the end....”  And then there is the foot washing.  Everyone in the community is invited to have their feet washed and to experience how profoundly personal God’s concern is for us.  We then celebrate the Holy Communion and receive the body and blood of Jesus the Christ – the continuing pledge of the love of God and of our participation in the risen life of Christ.  At the conclusion of the Mass we take the Blessed Sacrament into the upper parish hall to the Altar of Repose.  (All are welcome to bring flowering plants as well as cut flowers to decorate the resting place of the Blessed Sacrament over night.)  The Host remains upon the altar and everyone is invited to sign up for an hour to “keep watch” through the night until we bring the sacrament back into the church on Good Friday.  Those who do not remain with the Blessed Sacrament at the Altar of Repose return to the church.  The altar is stripped, the furniture and decorations are removed from the sanctuary, the high altar tabernacle is left open and a final collect is prayed and we all go home.


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