Mangaluru, Apr 19, 2019: Maundy Thursday, and the polling day for the mega Parliamentary election in the region was April 18 Thursday. in Mangaluru and surroundings, it was a solemn day, remembrance for Christians in the coastal districts to commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist and Priesthood by Jesus Christ at the last supper in the upper room with His disciples. All church services in the evening had a special significance of Christian brotherly love when the main celebrant washed the feet of 12 men and women, signifying the "New Mandate" to love equally in all circumstances as per the example of Christ and His preaching.
Mangalore Bishop Rev Dr Peter Paul Saldanha performed the rituals at Rosario Cathedral in Mangaluru of which he is the head; it was his first Holy week as Bishop here and people were eager to see him and came from far and near.
The homily of the day, emphasized the significance of the Maundy Thursday and the immediate need of love, understanding and acceptance. The high dignity of the priesthood and the thinking in our local Konkani communities was revisited and all were exhorted to support the role of the priests in the church to serve the people. Thereafter, the washing of the feet of 12 lay persons signifying the chief tenet of Christianity to love and serve one another was performed.
Following the end of the mass, the Holy Eucharist was taken ceremoniously to the floral decorated Altar of Repose while the main altar was stripped of the white linen and decorations removed and it was left bare. The reverential transfer of the Holy Eucharist to the Altar of Repose was followed by adoration, which will continue till 5 pm when the Good Friday observances will follow.
In keeping with the traditions parish churches in the region : Milagres, Bijey, Urwa, Bendur, Ashok Nagar, Derebail, Casia, Angelore, Infant Jesus, Cloistered Chapel, Retreat house, Jeppu.......as also Udupi, Shirva, Belman, Sasthan, Brahamvar, Kundapur, Basrur and other places with special service.and so on held the solemn mass of the ’Last Supper’, ‘washing of feet’ ceremony was significant. The word ’Maundy’ is derived from the Latin word ’mandatum’ translating to ’mandate’ - in pursuance of the new mandate to ’love one another as your self’ preached by Christ in His life.
In the Rosario Cathedral, the huge cross was erected in the center of the sanctuary to mark the traditional depiction of the Crucifixion and lowering of the body of Christ which is a special traditional scenario acted out on ’Good Friday’ today April 19, evening at the end of the solemn liturgy; this tradition is maintained over many decades here, this is now seen in very few churches in the region.
The final celebration of the ’Holy Week’ will be on Saturday April 20, at 7 pm in all churches which culminates in the consolation of the ’Resurrection of Christ" after His Crucifixion and the joy of the event also ends the annual season of ’Lent’ a 40 day observance the world over.
Good Friday Observance today :
Today April 19, is ’Good Friday’, all Christians will reverently mourn the self sacrificial crucifixion of Jesus Christ on a cross. Unconditional obedience of the Son of God to His Father’s will - remains the core of Good Friday with the fact that Jesus Christ, who was as much human as He was divine and part of God the Father, bowed in obedience to do the will of His Father, God Almighty, for the remission of the sins of all men. So, on the first Good Friday, when Jesus took the sins of men upon a cross and climbed up Mount Calvary to meet his violent death, He was fulfilling God’s plan of saving humankind from the backlash of sins. So, it is called ’Good’ Friday, a day of mixed sorrow and joy.
However, there were moments, when Jesus, who was wholly human despite being wholly divine, was as vulnerable as any man and was tempted to run away from the suffering and death that lay before Him on Mount Calvary. Yet in complete obedience to His Father’s will, He prayed thus, before facing His executioners: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:41). His deep obedience gave Him the courage to endure the most brutal death any human has ever faced.
Good Friday, though filled with the brutality of Jesus’ suffering and death, is referred to as "Good" - the day indeed brought plentiful goodness to all humanity through the obedience of Jesus Christ to the will of God. The scriptures record, Jesus’ obedience stands as an inspiration to all to accept and endure God’s will in the daily sufferings on the path of life.