Today, Fr Paul does not give his usual Gospel Reflection, but instead shares a little about the history and ceremony of Holy Thursday and invites us all to join in the unique and beautiful services we celebrate at Easter. Explanation & History                                The Holy Thursday ceremony is the first of ceremony of the Easter Triduum. It takes place on the Thursday before Easter. This ceremony commemorates the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus at The Last Supper. This ceremony was already celebrated by the 4th Century as it is mentioned in the Council of Hippo (393).The traditional name for Holy Thursday is Maundy Thursday. This name comes from the first antiphon of the ceremony of the washing of the feet. Since 1955 this ceremony has been celebrated in the evening when as many of the community can come. White vestments are worn.  The Tabernacle is empty before the start of the mass because all are expected to receive the hosts consecrated at this mass. The bells are rung during the Gloria and then they will remain silent until Easter.  The Holy Thursday ceremony has a number of parts that make it different from a normal mass. These are:Washing of the FeetIn this part of the ceremony, which began to be celebrated around 694, twelve people come forward after the homily and have their feet washed. The washing of feet follows Christ’s example from the gospel. It ritualises the Christian ideal of a leadership of service; service which Christ expresses fully by laying down his life on the cross.The second thing that is different from a normal mass is the transfer of the Holy Eucharist.Transfer of the Holy EucharistAt the end of this mass the Blessed Sacrament is taken in a procession to another altar called the Altar of Repose, which is first mentioned in history in the 15th Century. The Blessed Sacrament will be used for communion on Good Friday when no mass is celebrated. In many places, the people stay after the ceremony and keep watch by taking turns praying before the Blessed Sacrament.On behalf of the Parish Community, Fr Paul warmly invites us all to join in this year’s Holy Thursday mass at 6pm this evening at St Agnes’ Church in Hay Street.