The path towards the Passion: the Holy Thursday and the Altars of Repose
Today, the 17th of April 2014, all the devoted people will visit the churches and stop in front of the Last Supper to commemorate the moment in which Our Lord parted the bread, building up a bridge of hope for our Salvation.
The most intense three days of the year are now starting: this is the Easter Triduum time. It’s the perfect time to come in contact with our faith, living the traditions that this Week offers to us. In my town, Toritto, ithe Bari Province, the Holy Thursday it’s the day of the Altars of Repose. It is possible to adore the Body of Jesus shown on trimmed altars in all the seven churches of the little town.
It’s a way to remind the world the importance of the Altar, the importance of the Supper where Christ gives himself as a gift for us, turning the bread into Body and the wine into Blood. People walk through the streets of the town in a holy silence; to keep alive the solemnity of the day it is a tradition to visit the seven Churches of the town.
This evening is also important to visit all the seven churches at the same moment: we have the possibility to stop praying in a church, to admire its architectonic beauties and to discover the little treasures of art that the towns near Bari can offer.
As an example, Saint Joseph’s Church in Toritto is a little jewel of the beginnings of the 20th century, decorated by one of the Prayer painters, a family of artists working in Puglia and authors of work of art such as the Aula Magna of the University of Bari.
Today represents only the first step to Easter; tomorrow we are going to live the Procession of the Mysteries across the streets of the town and, on Saturday the most important celebration of the liturgical year: the Easter Eve.
I invite the readers to deeply live the days of Passion, everywhere in our beautiful Puglia, not only with the eyes of a tourist but above all, looking with the eyes of devoted people.
Photos and article by Angela Coscia