Thursday, June 16
by the Rev. Grant Schwartz
Let us Keep the Feast
It’s Thursday after Trinity Sunday. It is nine weeks since Jesus met with his Apostles in
the Upper Room. He thankfully offered bread and wine to His Father and said to the
Twelve, “Take, eat, this is my body” and, “Drink this, all of you, this is my blood of the
Do you remember how we celebrated that nine weeks ago? The celebrant focussed on
the institution of the Holy Eucharist with these words: “This is the day that Christ our
God gave us this holy feast.”
Then we got sidetracked. So much went on that day (or night) which we call Maundy Thursday (i.e., Commandment Thursday). Jesus prayed the High Priestly Prayer. He gave commandment to love one another. He washed the Apostle’s feet. He foretold His betrayal by Judas. He sweated blood and prayed, “Thy will be done.” He was carted off
to be put on trial. He was abandoned by his followers. He was denied by Peter.
With all that going on, our celebration of Jesus’ feeding us with himself got short
changed. We quickly slipped by Jesus’ proclamation, “My flesh is food indeed, and my
blood is drink indeed.”
We may have felt that we were missing something but we could not stop to catch up on
Jesus’ words, “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood dwell in me and I in them.”
We had to take in the crucifixion. Then we rejoiced in the resurrection. And the
ascension. And the coming of the Holy Spirit. And then God Himself on Trinity
After all those weeks of excitement about our redemption we might want to pick up on
what we sidestepped. We might feel like having a mini Maundy Thursday. Some
parishes do this on the Thursday after Trinity Sunday. Some others do it on the Sunday
that follows Trinity Sunday.
Parishes that observe a mini Maundy Thursday use such names as Corpus Christi, or The
Festival of the Body and Blood of Christ or The Institution of the Holy Eucharist.
The Book of Common Prayer provides this prayer for Maundy Thursday:
who in a wonderful sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy passion:
Grant us so to reverence the holy mysteries of thy Body and Blood,
that we may ever know within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption;
who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God,
world without end.