What is Holy Thursday?

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
22 Apr 2011

After Palm Sunday, the next important day of Holy Week is Holy Thursday. With it begins the Triduum, the three days that the Catholic Church dedicates to commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Holy Thursday is when the Chrism Mass takes place, in which the holy oils are blessed.

They will be used throughout the year in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and Anointing of the sick. It's usually held in the cathedral or main church of a given city with the presiding bishop.

During the evening Mass, the Last Supper is remembered to commemorate the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. During this celebration, the priest washes the feet of 12 people, just as Jesus did with the apostles.

Throughout the night the Blessed Sacrament is left out for Catholics to accompany Jesus on his last night that he spent in prison. The sanctuary of the church is open and the altar is left without tablecloths or chandeliers.