My Holy Thursday was jampacked.
In the early morning, I attended the Chrism Mass celebrated by our bishop. I was at our cathedral at the late hours of Holy Wednesday for practices of the chants for the Solemn Lauds celebrated before the Mass. We ended at 12AM.
The Solemn Lauds started at exactly 6:30AM. Surprisingly, not all of the priests of the diocese were around when Lauds started. Our good bishop was even earlier than most of his priests. He was at the cathedral by 6AM!
Lauds was beautiful. The chanting and the modern day organ sounded like a grand pipe organ! The young priest who led Lauds was wearing a beautiful traditional cope! I think the cope was pulled out of the sacristy and saved from the liturgical barbarians.
And most beautiful of all was how the choir made a profound bow at the mention of the Holy Name and the Holy Trinity. Totally ineffable.
I watched closely at how the Chrism Mass went about. The last Chrism Mass I attended was at the Manila Cathedral - Basilica with the late Cardinal Jaime Sin back when the Archdiocese was still the entire Mega Manila area. Imagine half of the Cathedral was filled by priests and the rest by the religious, seminarians and lay leaders!
I noticed in this year's Chrism Mass, the altar does not have ANY candle whatsover. I learned about this when I overheard the Master of Ceremonies, who happens to be the diocese's liturgist. A young priest asked him how many candles will be placed on the altar. 2? 4? 6? or 7? Hmmm... The young priest knows his liturgy. The 7 candles gave him away. Surprisingly, the MC said and I quote "No candles must be placed on the TABLE!" Yes, he calls the altar, table. I later learned that the liturgist is a student of... you guess it right, Anscar Chupungco. Soo, I think it will be an indication whether your priest has been "inculturated" by Fr. Chupungco. If you see dancing and no candles on the altar, that is an indication of his liturgical leanings.
Guess the liturgist must have thrown a fit if he sees this!
Late in the afternoon, I served as an honor guard during the Mass of the Lord's Supper. We served as honor guards until the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose. Immediately after the almost two hour liturgy, I went to make my own Seven Pilgrim Church pilgrimage or known locally as Visita Iglesia.
The second church I visited was St. Peter's Parish Church located at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. This is how the church looks like at daytime.
Now here is the photo of the facade of the church during Holy Thursday.
Here is a close up.
To SLAP members, you have trained eyes...
How did my Holy Thursday went after this?
I just prayed for my intentions, my family's intentions and welfare, for readers of TPC and for the Holy Father.
I went home around 12AM, visiting my last and 7th church at 11:30PM.
The results of the GULP (God's Undercover Liturgical Police) investigation will follow shortly.
PS: Sorry no photos of the other churches. They were beautifully decorated and I do not want to spend the whole night investigating and taking liturgical forensic photos.