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Maundy Thursday - washing of the feet

On the afternoon of Maundy Thursday, the convent gathers in the chapter room. The ancient liturgy of the washing of the feet unfolds. While the abbess washes, dries and kisses the sisters' feet, the schola sings the appropriate chants.

These are beautiful old Gregorian chants in which text and melody harmonize wonderfully with each other and allow us to penetrate deeper into the mystery of our faith.

Here are the Latin texts with their translation:

Charitas est summum bonum, amplum donum, in qua pendet omnis ordo praeceptorum, per quam vetus atque nova lex impletur; Per quam Deus ac proximus diligitur, per quam coelum diligitur, per quam coelorum regnum adipiscitur. Ille namque tenet et quod latet et quod patet in divinis sermonibus, qui charitatem servat in moribus.

Love is the highest good, the full good, on it depends the entire order of the commandments, through it the old and the new law is fulfilled, through it God and the neighbor are embraced in love. Through it one attains the kingdom of heaven. - For he who keeps love in his life fulfills the hidden and the obvious meaning of the divine word.

Ubi est charitas et dilectio, ibi sanctorum est congregatio; ibi nec ira est, nec indignatio, sed firma charitas in perpetuum: Christus descendit mundum redimere, ut liberaret a morte hominem, exemplum praebuit suis discipulis, ut invicem pedes lavarent.

Where there is love and affection, there is the communion of saints. Where there is neither anger nor displeasure, but strong and lasting affection, there Christ descends for the redemption of the world, to free man from death. - He gave his disciples an example so that they might wash one another's feet.

Diligamus nos invicem, quia charitas ex Deo est, et qui diligit fratrem suum ex Deo natus est, et videt Deum et hoc mandatum habemus a Deo, ut qui diligit Deum, diligat et fratrem suum.

Let us love one another, for love is of God, and he who loves his brother (sister) is born of God and will see God. This commandment we have from God, that he who loves God love his brother also.

Ubi fratres in unum glorificant Deum, ibi dabit Dominus benedictionem. Et vitam usque in saeculum.

Where brothers (sisters) glorify God with one accord, God gives his blessing and life for eternity.

Congregavit nos Christus ad glorificandum seipsum; reple, Domine, animas nostras Sancto Spiritu.

Christ has brought us together so that we can praise him. Fill our hearts, Lord, with your Holy Spirit!

The image shows a page of the cistercian processionale with gregorian chants to sing during the washing of the feet.
Cistercian Processionale

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