At the conclusion of Holy Thursday Mass, the priest will take the "leftover" consecrated hosts to a special altar of repose. As there is no Mass on Good Friday, these hosts will be used for the Liturgy of the Lord's Passion and for those who are sick. Thus, there is an old custom in the Church for people to visit seven churches on Holy Thursday night and to spend some time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in the various altars of repose. We began our own Holy Thursday pilgrimage five years ago and it's become a wonderful tradition.
As always, we began our night with Night Prayer with the monks of Saint Anselm Abbey at Saint Anselm Abbey Church. Night Prayer is the last of the daily prayers and lasts less than 15 minutes. The incense from Holy Thursday Mass was still thick in the air which added a real ethereal element to our prayer.
Following this, we moved on to Saint Raphael's Parish, which was also founded and is run by the monks of Saint Anselm Abbey. Mass was still going on when we arrived so we snuck in during communion and sat in the back. We then joined in with the procession to the altar of repose and spent a few moments in prayer. We rounded out the night at Saint Anthony's Parish (home of our chaplain, Fr. Ricard Dion who greeted the students), St. Joseph's Cathedral, and St. Catherine's Parish. As is our custom, we finished the night with ice cream at the Puritan Backroom. Their ice cream/take-out closes at 9:30pm so I sent ahead some alumni who joined us to ask them if they would stay open for us. We got there at 9:25pm and despite giving them over $150 in business, the supervisor made a crack as she took our picture, "Say we close at 9:30!" Geez.
In all, about 25-30 students joined us along with 5 alumni who surprised me. Four of the five were from the amazing class of 2014 and one graduated last year. Four of them had been very active in Campus Ministry and took part in many of our trips so it was so good to see them. Four of the five are at Catholic colleges are are thriving.
I wish all of you and your families a blessed and happy Easter!