Bishop Brennan Commemorates Last Supper by Washing Feet of 12 People

Tags: Currents Bishop Robert Brennan, Brooklyn, NY, Faith, Holy Thursday, Holy Week, Queens, NY

by Katie Vasquez

A triumphant start to the Easter triduum.

“This is the real high point of the year. You know, holy week’s big, Easter’s big, but the triduum is the center of it all,” said Diocese of Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan. 

Bishop Brennan celebrates a mass of the lord’s supper at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph,

starting the three-day period leading to Christ’s resurrection at Easter. 

The holy Thursday service remembers Jesus’ last supper with his apostles before he died, changing bread and wine into his own body and blood.

It’s become a core tenet of the Catholic faith, but Bishop Brennan says Catholics can take more from the gospel story.

“Lesser known, but very important is after that giving of the gift of his body and blood. He speaks to them. If you go to John’s gospel, he spends five whole chapters just speaking to them about their relationship, their friendship. You know, no greater love is there as a friend than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend. and you are my friends,” said Bishop Brennan. 

That friendship is also symbolized in the holy Thursday mass. 

Bishop Brennan washes the feet of 12 people, just as Jesus did for his disciples. 

“It’s a very moving moment for me to be able to celebrate, for any priest to celebrate.” 

It also moved those whose feet were being washed, like 11-year old Joel Avendano. 

“It was like a weird sensation, but very pleasant. like i was, my heart was beating fast. um, and I was shaking for some reason,” said Avendano.

The mass ended with a procession of the blessed sacrament, leaving the church in silence.

“The altar is empty. We know that Jesus is not there, his agony has started,” said Co-Cathedral at St. Joseph parishioner, Lida Wickham. 

“It’s like one long moment of prayer that we keep vigil with christ. so it’s very, very these are very powerful days,” said Bishop Brennan. 

This is the start of Christ’s suffering, before the joy of his resurrection at Easter.