During the first morning of Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord's Supper initiated the Easter Triduum in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
The celebration was presided over by the the Apostolic Administrator, Mons. Pierbattista Pizzaballa and was concelebrated by over 200 priests.
In the homily, the archbishop spoke about the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood, as well as the commandment of brotherly love.
Here - he said - where you can see communion within the divisions, the joy of the tomb blossoms and grows.
"In this place where the Paschal Mystery took place, we are called to seek, to find and to recognize the One who is the reason, not an excuse for our presence, our actions and celebration.”
The Mass that takes place here in Jerusalem is, for historical circumstances, exceptional, as it combines what in the rest of the world takes place in two celebrations.
Mons. Pizzaballa followed then the tradition and washed the feet of twelve young seminarians of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The priests renewed their promises. Later, the blessing of the oils of the catechumens and the sick and the blessing of the chrism took place. The Mass ended with the procession and the deposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
H. E. Mons. PIERBATTISTA PIZZABALLA, ofm
Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem
"Holy Thursday, is particularly special: the Chrism Mass, the blessing of the oils and the Mass of the Lord's Supper have many important meanings: the priesthood, the consecration, the Eucharist, the new commandment - to love one another as I have loved-you, the commandment of service - what I have done, you will also do, that you are at the service of humanity ... the message of a God who kneels before men and invites all Christians, who belong to the Church, to genuflect to every man.”
This Mass initiates three days of intense prayers and ancient rites that will lead us to the encounter with the Risen Jesus.
ANGIE ROSERO OJEDA
"I am from Colombia, and this is the first time that I visit Israel. I am excited because my family and I have always wanted to come to the Holy Land ...This is very significant,.. to be here, to know the sacred places through which Jesus passed, the places where our Christian identity was built."
FELIPE CÁCERES MARTINEZ
"It is a very special trip ... being in a place so important for humanity and for the main denominations, especially in this very special Feast is significant .....is very important to see the fervor of passion, people's faith. ..I am very excited to be here!"