Thursday, 2 April 2015

Mandy Thursday Afternoon - The Mandatum

In the afternoon the Mandatum ceremony takes place. Dr. Glover never celebrated this so there are no photographs from Durham. However, the above is taken from Herbert Thurston's 'Lent and Holy Week'. The engraving shows the pope washing the feet of thirteen paupers in Rome on Mandy Thursday.

A procession to a suitable place is made with the celebrant vested in violet stole and cope assisted by a deacon in white stole, maniple and dalmatic, and subdeacon in white tunicle and maniple. The ministers make the usual reverences to the altar and the deacon lays the Evangeliarium on the mensa. All follows exactly as for the Gospel at High Mass and the same Gospel that was sung this morning is again proclaimed.

(The above photograph taken from St. Gertrude the Great's website shows Bishop Dolan vested in violet cope and golden mitre entering for the Mandatum.)

After the Gospel the celebrant removes the violet cope and puts on an apron. The ministers remove their maniples. Meanwhile thirteen paupers (tredecim pauperes C.E. Lib. II, Cap. XXIV, 2), or Canons (thirteen of which are not that easy to find these days) seated on benches remove their shoes and socks. Acolytes take a basin, ewer, towels and a plate bearing coins to the first pauper. The celebrant kneels before the pauper and water is poured over their right foot, held by the subdeacon. The deacon passes a towel to the celebrant (with the usual oscula) and the celebrant dries the pauper's foot and kisses it. He then gives the pauper a coin who takes it and kisses the celebrant's hand. This process is repeated for all thirteen.

(This photograph shows Bishop Dolan carrying out the moving act of Christ kissing the foot of His disciples.)

During this the choir sings the antiphon Mandatum novum (the text giving Mandy Thursday its English name). Eight other antiphons are provided including the famous Ubi caritas. After the last pauper's foot is washed the celebrant and ministers return to the credence where the celebrant washes his hands and resumes the violet cope. They go to the Epistle corner and there the celebrant intones Pater noster (continued in silence), some versicles and the collect Adesto. All then return to the sacristy.

The Roman authors mention that the feet of thirteen paupers are washed and that after the service they are given a good dinner, new clothes and some money. This admirable tradition of course continues, symbolically, with Our Sovereign Lady, Her Majesty The Queen, distributing the Royal Maundy Money as She did today at Sheffield Cathedral to 178 pensioners.

In the 'liturgical books of 1962' the Mandatum normally takes place after the Gospel of the novel evening Mass. The feet of twelve men, not thirteen, are washed but the feet are no longer kissed. The antiphon Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas is omitted. After the Washing of the feet the celebrant no longer returns to the Missal at the Epistle corner for the versicles and prayer Adesto but sings them before the altar in plano. For all the supposed 'authenticity' of times of celebration the deformers managed to get the order of Gospel events rather inverted here.

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