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Wednesday 23 June |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Ioan Suciu
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Here’s how to celebrate Easter Thursday at home

Appearance of Jesus to the disciples

Zvonimir Atletic | Shutterstock

Aleteia - published on 04/06/21

Here you have the prayers, readings, and everything else you need to celebrate with God’s Word.

In collaboration with Magnificat magazine


Instructions:

  • This celebration requires the presence of at least two people.
  • If you are alone, it is preferable to simply read the readings and prayers found in the proposed celebration.
  • This celebration is particularly suitable for use with family. In order to respect quarantine measures, you should refrain from inviting others from outside your household. If anyone in your house is ill, make sure they remain in isolation to ensure that all safety guidelines are strictly followed.
  • Set up the needed number of chairs in front of a prayer corner, respecting distance between them.
  • Light one or more candles, placing them on non-flammable stands (such as candlesticks or small porcelain plates). Don’t forget to blow them out at the end of the celebration. Place some flowers and decorations as a sign of joy. A simple cross or crucifix should always be visible in the background.
  • Designate a person to lead the prayer. He or she will also determine the length of the periods of silence. Designate a reader.

EASTER THURSDAY

Celebration of the Word

He is truly risen:
you are witnesses of this.

All are seated.
The leader of the celebration reads:

Yes, brothers and sisters,
He is truly risen!
Of this, we are witnesses. Hallelujah!

This is what Peter, the first pope,
said of us as witnesses:
“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, God’s own people,
in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts
of him who called you out of darkness
into his marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9).

What a destiny we have
after the resurrection!
What a vocation! What a mission!
A true priesthood!
And not just any priesthood: a royal priesthood!
We have received our roadmap:
to bear witness to the wonders of Christ.
He has risen for all:
we’re elected, set apart, consecrated,
to make it known to all.

We would like to go through the streets and squares,
Shouting for joy: he is risen!
But for now, we are confined to our homes.
This must not dampen our enthusiasm
but help us to deepen it,
and if need be, to convert it,
so that as soon as we regain our freedom,
we may be credible in bearing
the most eloquent of testimonies:
the exemplary nature of our life, rediscovered
in the light of Christ.

Pause

O Jesus, during this time we are prevented from
perpetuating the offering of your life
by the celebration of the Eucharist:
more than ever, we ask you to make it present
in the way we love each other
as you loved us.

After three minutes of silence, all rise and make the Sign of the Cross, saying:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The leader continues:

To prepare ourselves to receive God’s Word
and in order for it to heal us,
we recognize ourselves as sinners.

The penitential rite follows. For example:

Have mercy on us, O Lord.
For we have sinned against you.
Show us, O Lord, your mercy.
And grant us your salvation.

May Almighty God have mercy on us;
forgive us our sins,
And bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

The following is said or sung:

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

PRAYER

The leader says the opening prayer:

O God, who have united the many nations
in confessing your name,
grant that those reborn in the font of Baptism
may be one in the faith of their hearts
and the homage of their deeds. Amen.

FIRST READING (Acts 3:11-26)

A reading from the Acts of the Apostles.

As the crippled man who had been cured clung to Peter and John,
all the people hurried in amazement toward them
in the portico called “Solomon’s Portico.”
When Peter saw this, he addressed the people,
“You children of Israel, why are you amazed at this,
and why do you look so intently at us
as if we had made him walk by our own power or piety?
The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,
the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus
whom you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence,
when he had decided to release him.
You denied the Holy and Righteous One
and asked that a murderer be released to you.
The author of life you put to death,
but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses.
And by faith in his name,
this man, whom you see and know, his name has made strong,
and the faith that comes through it
has given him this perfect health,
in the presence of all of you.
Now I know, brothers and sisters,
that you acted out of ignorance, just as your leaders did;
but God has thus brought to fulfillment
what he had announced beforehand
through the mouth of all the prophets,
that his Christ would suffer.
Repent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away,
and that the Lord may grant you times of refreshment
and send you the Christ already appointed for you, Jesus,
whom heaven must receive until the times of universal restoration
of which God spoke through the mouth
of his holy prophets from of old.
For Moses said:

A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you
from among your own kin;
to him you shall listen in all that he may say to you.
Everyone who does not listen to that prophet
will be cut off from the people.

“Moreover, all the prophets who spoke,
from Samuel and those afterwards, also announced these days.
You are the children of the prophets
and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors
when he said to Abraham,
In your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
For you first, God raised up his servant and sent him to bless you
by turning each of you from your evil ways.”

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM(8:2AB and 5, 6-7, 8-9)

R/ Alleluia ! Alleluia ! Alleluia !

O LORD, our Lord,
how glorious is your name over all the earth!
What is man that you should be mindful of him,
or the son of man that you should care for him?R/

You have made him little less than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him rule over the works of your hands,
putting all things under his feet.R/

All sheep and oxen,
yes, and the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air, the fishes of the sea,
and whatever swims the paths of the seas. R/

GOSPEL(Luke 24:35-48)

Alleluia. Alleluia.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
Alleluia.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.

The disciples of Jesus recounted what had taken place along the way,
and how they had come to recognize him in the breaking of bread.

While they were still speaking about this,
he stood in their midst and said to them,
“Peace be with you.”
But they were startled and terrified
and thought that they were seeing a ghost.
Then he said to them, “Why are you troubled?
And why do questions arise in your hearts?
Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.
Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones
as you can see I have.”
And as he said this,
he showed them his hands and his feet.
While they were still incredulous for joy and were amazed,
he asked them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
They gave him a piece of baked fish;
he took it and ate it in front of them.

He said to them,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses
and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.”
Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
And he said to them,
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

No acclamation concludes the reading of the Gospel.

All are seated, and the leader repeats slowly,
as if it were a far-off echo:

In the depths of our heart,
let us listen to the echo of these words of Christ,
words which each of us has had the grace
to receive personally, along with the mission to be witnesses,
above all by the gift of our lives:

“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.”

All observe five minutes of silence for silent personal meditation.

The leader indicates the end of the period of silence, and invites all to rise.

The leader introduces the Lord’s Prayer:

United in the Spirit and in the communion of the Church,
we dare to pray as the Lord Jesus himself
taught us:

All say or sing the Our Father:

Our Father…
Continuing immediately with:
For the kingdom…

Then the leader invites those present to share a sign of peace:

We have just joined our voices
with that of the Lord Jesus to pray to the Father.
We are sons and daughters in the Son.

In the love that unites us with one another,
renewed by the word of God,
we can exchange a gesture of peace,
a sign of the communion
we receive from the Lord.

All then exchange a greeting of peace from a distance: for example, by bowing deeply towards each other in turn; or, as a family, by blowing each other a kiss. Then all sit down.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION

The leader says:

When we cannot receive sacramental communion for lack of a Mass, Pope Francis urges us to practice spiritual communion, also called “communion of desire.”

The Council of Trent reminds us that this “consists in an ardent desire to feed on the Heavenly Bread, with a living faith that acts through charity and that makes us participants in the fruits and graces of the Sacrament.” The value of our spiritual communion depends therefore on our faith in the presence of Christ in the Eucharist as a source of life, love and unity, and our desire to receive Communion in spite of our inability to do so.

With that in mind, I now invite you to bow your head, to close your eyes and recollect yourselves.

Silence

Deep in our hearts,
may a burning desire arise within us to unite ourselves with Jesus,
in sacramental communion,
and then to bring His love to life into our lives,
loving others as He loved us.

All remain in silence for 5 minutes for a
heart-to-heart conversation with Jesus Christ.

A hymn of thanksgiving may be sung.

All stand.

All recite together the following prayer:

May the grace of this paschal mystery
abound in our minds, we pray, O Lord,
and make those you have set on the way of eternal salvation
worthy of your gifts.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

FINAL BLESSING

The leader of the celebration, with hands joined in prayer,
says the blessing in the name of all:

Through the intercession of St. N.
[patron saint of the parish, diocese or country],
and of all the saints of God,

May the God of perseverance and courage
grant us to manifest throughout our lives
the spirit of sacrifice, compassion and love
of Christ Jesus.

Thus, in the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we will give glory to God,
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for ever and ever!
Amen.

All together facing the cross, each with their hands joined in prayer,
invoke the Lord’s Blessing:

May the grace of God descend upon us
and remain with us forever. Amen.

All make the Sign of the Cross.

Then parents may trace the Sign of the Cross on their children’s foreheads.

To conclude the celebration, the participants may sing the Regina Caeli,
or some other joyful, well-known Marian hymn.

Regína caéli, lætáre, Allelúia!
Quia quem meruísti portáre, Allelúia!
Resurréxit, sicut dixit, Allelúia!
Ora pro nóbis Déum, Allelúia!

O Queen of heaven rejoice! Alleluia!
For He whom thou didst merit to bear, Alleluia!
Hath arisen as he said, Alleluia!
Pray for us to God, Alleluia!

*

*       *

To continue to sanctify this day, it would be good to reconnect with the venerable tradition of vespers by celebrating, towards the end of the afternoon, the office of the Liturgy of the Hours, or you can pray today’s Evening Prayer, which can be found on the Magnificat website.

Throughout the Easter octave, Aleteia will propose daily guides for celebrations at home, to help you continue to sanctify the each day, for the glory of God and the salvation of the world.

You can also find other resources for free on the Magnificat website.

Tags:
EasterLiturgy
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