Thursday, 9 April 2009

Altars of Repose

The Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper ends with a procession to the altar of repose. Here people pray before the Blessed Sacrament, thereby answering the Lord's instruction: "Stay here and pray with me." In Rome there is a great tradition of visiting the altar of repose in as many churches as possible. Here, we see the altar of repose in the church of San Agostino.

Above, the Chiesa Nuova and below, Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. Here in Lancaster the Cathedral is open until Midnight and our prayer before the Lord at the altar of repose ends with sung Compline (night prayer) at 11:50pm. A picture of last year's altar of repose is posted here.

These pictures were taken this evening and sent by our man in Rome, who was also at the Chrism Mass in the Lateran Basilica earlier today. It was a wonderful event, with so many priests concelebrating that they took more than 20 minutes to process in! At this Mass the holy oils were blessed and the Chrism consecrated by the Pope not only for the Diocese of Rome, but also for the Diocese of L'Aquila, which was unable to celebrate the Chrism Mass due to the recent earthquake.