Rome, Italy, Mar 29, 2018 / 02:01 am
On the night of Holy Thursday Christians in Rome and around the world will take part in a tradition from the early Church, obeying Christ's command to "keep watch" by making a pilgrimage to churches to adore Christ in the Eucharist together.
In Rome, this tradition takes the form of walking to seven churches, or more, to visit and pray before the Eucharist at what is called an "altar of repose," where the hosts consecrated at the Mass of the Lord's Supper are preserved for use on Good Friday.
"In each church, the altar of repose is decorated with beautiful, fragrant spring flowers and surrounded by flickering candlelight, that breaks the darkness in the rest of the church. Praying at these altars brings our hearts and minds right to the garden, as we pray there with Jesus," Ashley and John Noronha, Catholic tour guides, told CNA.
The Noronhas, a married couple, have led a group of people on the Holy Thursday church walk each of the 10 years they have lived in Rome. They have also led groups in the United States.
Each year they gather a group of friends of all ages, they said, made up of both locals and pilgrims, to take part in the church walk together, enjoying "the fellowship that comes from praying together."