Hello brother... Can you give us some ideas on what to do or pray during the Holy Thursday Eucharistic Vigil... Thanks po and God bless your work...
No thank you brother for your trust and patronage of the Pinoy Catholic blog. As I have said in a couple of blogs and in recent Facebook chats, WE ARE THE PINOY CATHOLIC.
Before I answer your question, let me share to you a summary on the liturgical heritage of the Church for Maundy Thursday:
As for today's liturgies, in the morning, the local Bishop will offer a special Chrism Mass during which blesses the oils used in Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, Unction, and the consecration of Altars and churches.
At the evening Mass, after the bells ring during the Gloria, they are rung no more until the Easter Vigil (a wooden clapper called a "crotalus" is used insead). Parents explain this to their children by saying that the all the bells fly to Rome after the Gloria of the Mass on Maundy Thursday to visit the Popes. Children are told that the bells sleep on the roof of St. Peter's Basilica, and, bringing Easter eggs with them, start their flight home at the Gloria at the Easter Vigil, when when they peal wildly.
Then comes the Washing of the Feet after the homily, a rite performed by Christ upon His disciples to prepare them for the priesthood and the marriage banquet they will offer, and which is rooted in the Old Testament practice of foot-washing in preparation for the marital embrace (II Kings 11:8-11, Canticles 5:3) and in the ritual ablutions performed by the High Priest of the Old Covenant (contrast Leviticus 16:23-24 with John 13:3-5). The priest girds himself with a cloth and washes the feet of 12 men he's chosen to represent the Apostles for the ceremony.
The rest of the Mass after the Washing of the Feet has a special form, unlike all other Masses. After the Mass, the priest takes off his chasuble and vests in a white cope. He returns to the Altar, incenses the Sacred Hosts in the ciborium, and, preceded by the Crucifer and torchbearers, carries the Ciborium to the "Altar of Repose," also called the "Holy Sepulchre," where it will remain "entombed" until the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday.
Then there follows the Stripping of the Altars, during which everything is removed as Antiphons and Psalms are recited. All the glorious symbols of Christ's Presence are removed to give us the sense of His entering most fully into His Passion. Christ enters the Garden of Gethsemani; His arrest is imminent. Fortescue's "Ceremonies of the Roman Rite Described" tells us: "From now till Saturday no lamps in the church are lit. No bells are rung. Holy Water should be removed from all stoups and thrown into the sacrarium. A small quantity is kept for blessing the fire on Holy Saturday or for a sick call." The joyful signs of His Presence won't return until Easter begins with the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday evening.
Now about your question.
The Church does not have a set liturgy for the Vigil of Holy Thursday. If there were one, I'd be happy to promote it. The Forty Hours Devotion or Quarantore is a different one since this is, as the name implies, is done over a span of 40 hours of non stop adoration of and prayers in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament.
The spirit of the visits to the churches and the night vigil until midnight is so one can at least watch over with Christ at the Garden of Gethsemani while He prayed before His arrest. Matthew 26:36 "Then Jesus came with them into a country place which is called Gethsemani; and he said to his disciples: Sit you here, till I go yonder and pray."
Other churches and parishes organize the various BEC communities (if they are still existing in your parishes) and the mandated organizations and groups for every hour after the end of the Night Mass of Maundy Thursday until 12 midnight when the Blessed Sacrament is taken from the Altar of Repose and deposited in either the sacristy or at the parish rectory where a candle is left burning, just like the Sanctuary Lamp.
As for prayers, my experience with some parishes I visited is that those keeping watch and adoring the Blessed Sacrament are there kneeling and praying, SILENTLY. I have visited one or two parishes where those keeping vigil are singing songs and blurting out their novena-esque prayers over the sound system of the church.
My opinion on this? SHUT UP.
Pilgrims are coming from all walks of life and from all directions. They come to the church to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, to pray the Via Crucis, to confess their sins to priests in the confessionals. I hate to go to a church during Holy Thursday Vigil and find the church too noisy with the singing of the groups assigned to keep vigil. One church I visited had a charismatic group keeping vigil. And you know what happened? SINGING EXPLOSION with electric guitars blaring in the church!
Can you not give us the Maundy Thursday silent?
I have experienced this in several churches and cathedrals I went to. People were hushing inside the church. Lines to the confessional box was loooonnnggg. Poor priests. This is the one time every year they get to be Padre Pio or Cure of Ars. Sadly, one parish I visited last year in Caloocan City was just noisy. The manangs were holding the microphones and.....you know the rest.
So to Franciscus Carmelo, and all those planning their parishes or chapels on what to do during the Eucharistic Vigil, no SINGING except the Tantum Ergo or Salutaris Hostia, which are sung, either of the two, before the Blessed Sacrament is taken from the Altar of Repose.
Have Prayers of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament printed out and handed to adorers of even pilgrims.
These are some of the prayers I have that I really like:
An Offering of Ourself to Christ in the Eucharist
by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
My Lord, I offer Thee myself in turn as a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Thou hast died for me, and I in turn make myself over to Thee. I am not my own. Thou hast bought me; I will by my own act and deed complete the purchase. My wish is to be separated from everything of this world; to cleanse myself simply from sin; to put away from me even what is innocent, if used for its own sake, and not for Thine. I put away reputation and honor, and influence, and power, for my praise and strength shall be in Thee. Enable me to carry on what I profess. Amen.
Short Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
By Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman
I place myself in the presence of Him, in whose Incarnate Presence I am before I place myself there. I adore You, O my Savior, present here as God and Man, in Soul and Body, in true Flesh and Blood. I acknowledge and confess that I kneel before the Sacred Humanity, which was conceived in Mary’s womb, and lay in Mary’s bosom; which grew up to man’s estate, and by the Sea of Galilee called the Twelve, wrought miracles, and spoke words of wisdom and peace; which in due season hung on the cross, lay in the tomb, rose from the dead, and now reigns in heaven. I praise and bless, and give myself wholly to Him, Who is the true Bread of my soul, and my everlasting joy.
Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament
as taught to the Fátima Children by an angel
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly. I offer You the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg the conversion of sinners.
Prayer of St. Peter Julian Eymard
Oh! Yes, Lord Jesus, come and reign! Let my body be Your temple, my heart Your throne, my will Your devoted servant; let me be Yours forever, living only in You and for you!
(St. Peter Julian Eymard, 1811-1868, a French priest, founded the Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers, dedicated to devotion of the Eucharist. Feast: August 3.)
Act When Visiting the Most Holy SacramentCOPY, PASTE, SHARE, PRINT and use it tomorrow and every time you visit and adore the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament who is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
By St. Alphonsus Liguori
My Lord Jesus Christ, who, for the love you bear to mankind, do remain night and day in this Sacrament, full of pity and love, awaiting, calling, and receiving all who come to visit you; I believe that you are present in the Sacrament of the Altar; I adore you from the depths of my own nothingness; I thank you for the many graces you have given me, and especially for having given me yourself in this Sacrament; for having given me Mary your Mother as my advocate, and for having called me to visit you in this church.
(St. Alphonsus Liguori, 1696-1787, Italian bishop and founder of the Redemptorists, was proclaimed a doctor of the Church and is patron of confessors and moralists. Feast: August 1.)
And don't forget to include me and my family in your prayers as I have include all of you in mine all the time. :)