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43444Holy/Maundy Thursday Watch

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  • wx5116
    Feb 28, 2013
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      There are various traditions out there pertaining to the H/MT Watch.  For example, Ritual Notes says that "A watch is maintained at the altar of repose at least until midnight, and until the morrow's (Good Friday) liturgy if possible."  The Priest's Handbook says that "it is appropriate" that the watch go on all night.  Per an internet reference, "Although in most churches today this 'watch' normally ends at midnight some Anglican churches still retain a 'watch' throughout the night to symbolize Jesus' agony in the garden of Gethsemane and his arrest and trial before both the Roman and Jewish authorities." On the other hand, I understand that contemporary RC practice is that the watch ends at midnight.
      If the watch ends at midnight, would the Sacrament remain on the altar of repose?  Would the only difference really be that the altar of repose basically would be unattended until the Sacrament is removed for the Good Friday liturgy distribution?  Or would the altar of repose be dismantled after midnight and the Sacrament be moved to a hidden place at that point, for use for the sick as well as for distribution on Good Friday?
      Any references/clarifications would be helpful particularly in terms of current Catholic practice.
      David Lewis
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