The entire Academy gathered as usual at 9:15 a.m. this morning. Because it is Maundy Thursday, instead of the usual celebration of the Mass, we had Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. We began with the reading from Exodus, describing the preparation of the passover lamb. We do this each year, and it gives me an opportunity to speak about the new Passover Lamb, and the new Israel, all in the context of our Lord's "mandatum novum," His new commandment that we should love one another as He loves us. This day is a "new day of creation," when everything is transformed and given a new and final meaning.
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before He suffered, didst institute the Sacrament of His Body and Blood in the new and everlasting sacrifice: Mercifully grant that we may thankfully celebrate the same in remembrance of Him who in these holy mysteries bestoweth upon us His inestimable love and a pledge of life eternal; even the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Pictured above is the High Altar with the triptych closed, showing the Annunciation, the beginning of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh.