Friday, April 06, 2012

Unite for the Eucharist

On Maundy Thursday, I expected the altar to be dressed in red -- so was startled to see white. White seemed very odd, as though we just skipped right on to the Great Vigil. I'd heard that the Episcopal Kalendar had designated "white for the Eucharist" for this year. It doesn't make sense to me, and I forgot about it.

But when I looked at the Kalendar in the sacristy, the small print did not in fact say "white." Rather, it says: "Unite for the Eucharist." Hah! Check it out at your church -- and let me know if you find "unite" too!


Blogger The Archer of the Forest said...

I saw that earlier in the week on our Kalendar and meant to take a picture of it and blog about it, but have not had the time. I thought it was hilarious but oddly appropriate.

I also had a discussion on Facebook about why White is suddenly in vogue for Maundy Thursday. The best we could come up with was that it hearkened back to some old (pre-liturgical movement) tradition in some Episcopal/Anglican church somewhere which used white to signify the simplicity as well as the first Eucharist (Last Supper.)

I know some Protestant denominations will use a simple white altar linen and nothing else, though I was talking to one person and she remembers back in the 50's that they used white chausables and altar frontals as well.

I also queried someone I know on the Standing Liturgical Commission of the Episcopal Church about it, and they had no clue why White is suddenly en vogue for Maundy Thursday now.

I could see not having an altar frontal and just using a plain white altar linen and white albs (though I would never do this because I do believe it is an altar and not a table, which I think is the theology behind the white for Maundy Thursday), but I refuse to use the white Festal set for Maundy Thursday. I find it highly liturgically inappropriate until Easter.

9:11 AM  
Blogger Castanea_d said...

I saw that too ("Unite"). In our parish, it goes back to Fr. S., who said that was what they did back in Great Britain.

For me, it was visually quite striking last night, especially in combination with Prayer D. It emphasizes the Institution of the Sacrament, which is a key element in this night where so many threads come together.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Judith said...

Lenten array? (though I'd think that would end by Triduum) I was puzzled by the white, also.

10:16 AM  

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