During the Eucharistic Rite, the celebrant lifts up the priest host (bread) and speaks of the night before. What happened during this most important night? The answer is Maundy Thursday.
Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper where Jesus washed the fert of his disciples, broke bread with them and then resigned himself to the Garden of Gethsemane and prays the famous high preistly prayer in John 17.
What do we do? We do these same events on this night. The clergy wash the feet of the congregation and they do this in humility. Jesus was the King of Kings, yet He washed feet as if he were just a servant. It is a reminder to us all that we are here to serve and not to be served. Then, we celebrate the Eucharist. This is extremely powerful because we are actually doing it on the same night that Jesus instituted this sacrament. Then, the altar is stripped. Jesus is going to be given up to be sacrificed for us.
Please come celebrate in a local parish and remember that Christ gave up His life for you.