By FATHER KEITH MATHUR Director, Office for Divine Worship
The Holy Thursday tradition of visiting seven churches is an ancient practice most likely originating in Rome, where early pilgrims visited the seven major basilicas (Holy Cross in Jerusalem. St. John Lateran, St. Lawrence Outside the Walls, St. Mary Major, St. Paul Outside the Walls, St. Peter and St. Sebastian) as a sign of penance.
This noble practice has continued throughout the centuries into our day. The Office for Divine Worship of the Diocese of Allentown has created a list of all the parishes by deanery and their visitation times.
Parishioners are encouraged to spend time with the Lord in the Holy Eucharist on this evening. If it is not possible to visit seven churches, visit a couple, or stay an extended period of time at your parish with the Lord. Whether you visit one, three or all seven is not the main focus of the evening, rather what is truly important is spending time with the Lord in silence.
May our time spent with the Lord on Holy Thursday renew our relationship with him so that we may experience the glory and the joy of the Resurrection on Easter morning.
Please send us your photos of visiting churches on Holy Thursday to email@example.com.