Liturgy Corner 21
with Fr. James
Mandatum Novum: “A New Commandment”
If you are a regular at the 11:15 am Mass on Sunday, you may have wondered about the Taize chant, in Latin, that the choir has been singing at the dismissal of the Candidates. During Lent the choir decided to accompany them on their way out for discussion and meditation on the Liturgy of the Word with the Latin sentence: Mandatum novum do vobis, dicit dominus, dicit dominus. The English translation is “I give you a new commandment, says the Lord, says the Lord.”
This is taken from John 13:34, which is the Gospel acclamation for the Holy Thursday Mass. The Gospel for this Mass is also taken from John 13, where at the Last Supper Jesus washes the apostles’ feet as an example of the humility with which we are to approach being Jesus’ disciples.
So the New Commandment, that we love one another with Christ-like love, is a fitting meditation for us all, but especially for those preparing for full communion with the Catholic Church. And for those of us hearing this every week, it will serve as a prelude to the beginning of the Triduum.