Church History Forum: Holy Thursday Tradition

Holy Thursday Tradition QUESTION from Bill Taverner, Sr. on April 17, 2002 How did the tradition of visiting three Catholic churches on Holy Thursday come about? Thank you!
Bill Taverner, Sr.
ANSWER by Q & A Staff on April 21, 2002 Dear Bill,
From what I can gather, this tradition dates from the Gelasian Sacramentary of the seventh century, which stipulated three separate Masses to be said on the Holy Thursday.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:Holy Week:


In the so-called Gelasian Sacramentary, probably representing seventh-century usage, three separate Masses are provided for Maundy Thursday. One of these was associated with the Order of the reconciliation of penitents (see the article ASH WEDNESDAY), which for long ages remained a conspicuous feature of the day's ritual and is still retained in the Pontificale Romanum. The second Mass was that of the blessing of the Holy Oils (q.v.), an important function still attached to this day in every cathedral church. Finally, Maundy Thursday has from an early period been distinguished by the service of the Maundy, or Washing of the Feet, in memory of the reparation of Christ for the Last Supper, as also by the stripping and washing of the altars (see MAUNDY THURSDAY).

If anybody has any more informationon this subject, please feel free to pass it on.
Thanks, Bill
God bless, .
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