Observing a small tradition of the Church long ago may just make your Holy Thursday that much better. Traditionally, on Holy Thursday when the Blessed Sacrament is placed on the Altar of Repose, people would make small pilgrimages and visit several different churches as the day and night went on, as a way to keep watch with Christ.
The tradition found its most recent surge of popularity in the 16th century when St. Philip Neri frequently traversed the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome, where he would lead people on a small pilgrimage. As they would visit the seven different Altars of Repose, they would pray. Some people prayed a modified form of the stations, others just prayed for the intentions of our holy father. Regardless, they would visit seven different churches and pray in front of our Lord seven different times.
This tradition is precisely the thing your family and/or friend group needs to try out this year. Here’s how you can do it:
Create a map
You’ll need to look up local Catholic churches on a map. Try to pick seven in a route that makes the most sense possible. This may be easier for urban than rural areas. Depending on how close the Churches are and how hipster you are, you can opt to drive, walk or ride a bike. Whatever you decide, pick seven churches. Contact each church to know the time they will have the Blessed Sacrament on the Altar of Repose. Map your pilgrimage accordingly.
Decide what you will be praying
Make a modified Stations of the Cross. Pray seven different litanies. Pray seven decades. Pray seven memorares seven times. Print out guides if you need them, or bookmark prayers on your phone for easy access later.
Spread the word
Invite all your friends and family to join you. Write back to us and tell us how it went for you! Tag us on any social posts that come from the night.
May you have a very blessed Holy Thursday.