Here is the Pope's summary of the sacred Triduum we begin today, Holy Thursday:
"We begin the Triduum by celebrating the Mass of the Lord's Supper, as we recall Christ's offering of his body and blood to the Father, which he gave to the Apostles as food for their nourishment, with the command that they perpetually celebrate these mysteries in his memory. We recall also the Lord washing the Apostles' feet, through which he showed that the purpose of his life and passion is to serve God and neighbor, a service which we are called to imitate by loving one another as he loved us. On Good Friday, we will meditate on the mystery of Christ's death and we will adore the Cross. By his sacrifice, sin has been overcome through love, an immense love which we are called to live and transmit. On Holy Saturday, we will contemplate Jesus' lying in the tomb, and with Mary, the Church will keep alive the flame of faith, hoping against every hope in Christ's resurrection. Then, at the Easter Vigil, when the Alleluia resounds again, we will celebrate the Risen Christ, the center and fulfillment of the universe and history. In these days, may we not only observe the Lord's Passion, but truly enter into its mystery, making our own the sentiments of Christ. In this way, our Easter will indeed be blessed."
I have always loved Holy Thursday. As a child, my grandmother would take us to visit the Repositories in the different churches. We would visit at least six different churches each year and were given shiny new dimes so we could light a candle in each. Now, after Vatican II we have an evening liturgy and then adoration but only until midnight. I remember staying in prayer all night at the Trinita dei Monti in Rome; I also remember that I had a terrible cold after doing that.