Maundy Thursday - Mass of the Lord's Supper (English)

Cena2.jpg

This Thursday evening, we enter in the Sacred Paschal Triduum in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Liturgy with the Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. This Mass traditionally commemorates both Our Lord’s institution of His sacred priesthood, and of the Holy Eucharist. The institution of the priesthood is commemorated primarily in the Maundy or Footwashing Rite (named after the first Latin word in the footwashing antiphon: “A new commandment…”). Meanwhile, the institution of the Holy Eucharist is commemorated primarily in the liturgy of the Eucharist - most especially in the special version of the Roman Canon to be used at this Mass.


Entrance Antiphon:

We should glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection, through whom we are saved and delivered.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. Gal. 6:14

Simple English setting:

Solemn English setting:


Footwashing Antiphon 1

After the Lord has risen from supper, he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of his disciples: he left them this example.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. Jn. 13:4, 5, 15

Footwashing Antiphon 2

The Lord Jesus, after eating supper with his disciples, washed their feet and said to them: Do you know what I, your Lord and Master, have done for you? I have given you an example, that you should do likewise.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. Jn. 13:12, 13, 15

Footwashing Antiphon 3

Lord, are you to wash my feet? Jesus said to him in answer: If I do not wash your feet, you will have no share with me.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. Jn. 13:6, 7, 8

Footwashing Antiphon 4

If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, how much more should you wash each other’s feet?
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. Jn. 13:14

Footwashing Antiphon 5

This is how all will know that you are my disciples: if you have love for one another.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. Jn. 13:35

Footwashing Antiphon 6

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you, says the Lord.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. Jn. 13:34

Footwashing Antiphon 7

Let faith, hope and charity, these three, remain among you, but the greatest of these is charity.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. 1 Cor. 13:13

Offertory Antiphon:

Where true charity is dwelling, God is present there.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition)
  1. By the love of Christ we have been brought together:
    Let us find in him our gladness and our pleasure;
    May we love him and revere him, God the living,
    And in love respect each other with sincere hearts.

  2. So when we as one are gathered all together,
    Let us strive to keep our minds free of division;
    May there be an end to malice, strife, and quarrels,
    And let Christ our God be dwelling here among us.

  3. May your face thus be our vision, bright in glory,
    Christ our God, with all the blessed Saints in heaven:
    Such delight is pure and faultless, joy unbounded,
    Which endures through countless ages world without end. Amen.


Communion Antiphon:

This is the Body that will be given up for you; this is the Chalice of the new covenant in my Blood, says the Lord; do this, whenever you receive it, in memory of me.
— Roman Missal (3rd edition); cf. 1 Cor. 11:24, 25

Simple English setting:

Solemn English setting:


Procession to the Altar of Repose (1st Translation):

Of the glorious Body telling, O my tongue, its mysteries sing...
— Roman Missal (3rd edition)

Repeat the first four verses until the procession reaches the altar of repose, and then sing the remaining two verses.

  1. Of the glorious Body telling, O my tongue, its myst’ries sing,
    And the Blood, all price excelling, Which the world’s eternal King,
    In a noble womb once dwelling, Shed for this world’s ransoming.

  2. Giv’n for us, for us descending, Of a Virgin to proceed,
    Man with man in converse blending, Scattered he the Gospel seed,
    Till his sojourn drew to ending, Which he closed in wondrous deed.

  3. At the last great Supper lying Circled by his brethren’s band,
    Meekly with the law complying, First he finished its command,
    Then, immortal food supplying, Gave himself with his own hand.

  4. Word made Flesh, by word he maketh Very bread his flesh to be;
    Man in wine Christ’s Blood partaketh: And if senses fail to see,
    Faith alone the true heart waketh To behold the mystery.

  5. THEREFORE we, before him bending, This great Sacrament revere;
    Types and shadows have their ending, For the newer rite is here;
    Faith, our outward sense befriending, Makes the inward vision clear.

  6. Glory let us give, and blessing To the Father and the Son;
    Honor, might, and praise addressing, While eternal ages run;
    Ever too his love confessing, Who, from both, with both is one. Amen.


Procession to the Altar of Repose (2nd Translation):

Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory, Of his flesh the mystery sing...
— Roman Missal (3rd edition)
  1. Sing, my tongue, the Savior’s glory, Of his flesh the myst’ry sing:
    Of the Blood, all price exceeding, Shed by our immortal King,
    Destined, for the world’s redemption, From a noble womb to spring.

  2. Of a pure and spotless Virgin Born for us on earth below,
    He, as man, with man conversing, Stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
    Then he closed in solemn order Wondrously his life of woe.

  3. On the night of that Last Supper Seated with his chosen band,
    He, the Paschal victim eating, First fulfills the Law’s command;
    Then as food to His apostles Gives himself with his own hand.

  4. Word made flesh, the bread of nature By his word to Flesh he turns;
    Wine into His Blood he changes; — What though sense no change discerns?
    Only be the heart in earnest Faith her lesson quickly learns.

  5. DOWN in adoration falling, Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
    Lo! o’er ancient forms departing, Newer rites of grace prevail;
    Faith for all defects supplying, Where the feeble sense fail.

  6. To the everlasting Father, And the Son who reigns on high,
    With the Holy Ghost proceeding Forth from each eternally,
    Be salvation, honor, blessing, Might and endless majesty. Amen.