Holy Thursday Events - Pictures and a Reflection

As promised, I am posting information about the events that took place yesterday for St. Louis Seminarians. Click here for pictures.

Chrism Mass

Nearly all the St. Louis Archdiocesan priests attended the annual Chrism Mass, held in the morning at the Cathedral Basilica (New Cathedral) of St. Louis. The Cathedral was close to full, with hundreds of St. Louis faithful also in attendance. The liturgy was very nice, especially the Archbishop's welcome before Mass, during which seminarians and the St. Louis Cathedral Choir alternated singing verses of 'Ecce Sacerdos.'

The New Cathedral
The New Cathedral

Lunch, Break Time and a Tour

After the Chrism Mass, the seminarians were invited to attend lunch with priests from the Archdiocese in the Cathedral Parish School's cafeteria. We met with many different priests and some non-archdiocesan seminarians, then had some free time. During this free time, I was able to go on a tour of the New Cathedral with a few other seminarians; we visited the gallery area and took in some quite amazing sites!

Dinner with the Archbishop

In the evening, the seminarians were invited to a dinner held in the Cathedral Parish's Rectory. The food was delicious and the time to converse with fellow seminarians and the Archbishop was very much appreciated.

Mass of the Lord's Supper

Burke Washing Seminarian's Feet

The Mass of the Lord's Supper was well attended, and it was very touching to see Archbishop Burke kneel down in front of twelve seminarians and wash their feet. He did this with three layers of clothing on, as well—in our practice for this Mass, the priest who instructed us acted out the role of the Archbishop, and, without even performing all the actions the Archbishop did and with only casual pants and clerics on, he became quite tired. Imagine how much more tired the Archbishop must have been!


Tenebrae (Latin for "darkness") is an old tradition in the Catholic Church for commemorating our Lord's death on the eve of Good Friday. For this event, three seminarians sang quite a bit of beautiful-sounding Gregorian chant music and led the faithful in recitation of Evening prayer. One of my favorite parts was the "strepitus" (meaning 'noise'), when all the seminarians took their hymnals and banged them on their pews, making quite a loud noise. We finished the night in a silent procession to the sacristy, in which the Blessed Sacrament is reposed until the Easter Vigil.