This is an interesting article – Maundy Thursday Musings. Indeed we have two notions of Maundy Thursday. The Roman rite celebrates it as a feast with white vestments, the Gloria in excelesis and the transfer of the Blessed Sacrament to the altar of repose with the Pange lingua. On the other hand, the Sarum Use keeps it as a Passiontide celebration in bull’s blood vestments (my own Passiontide vestments are black with red orphreys) and without the Gloria (unless it is the Bishop’s Mass). I compromise and use bright red vestments. Three priest’s hosts are consecrated and two are put in the hanging pyx – one to be consumed at the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday and the other to be put into the Easter Sepulchre and back into the hanging pyx early on Easter Sunday morning.
This is quite a difference between the dramatic changes of tone between the Gloria with the bells, the rest of the Mass with the rattle, the triumphal Blessed Sacrament devotion around the Altar of Repose and the stripping of the altars – and the low-key Sarum Passiontide style with the emphasis on the Last Supper and the fact that Christ was already in intense spiritual suffering long before Judas and the guys from the Temple came to arrest him.
Fr Sean Finnegan gave a detailed description of this Mass in the Sarum Use – Sarum Maundy Thursday. In particular, he notes that there is no difference between the Maundy Thursday Mass in a parish and the Chrism Mass celebrated by the Bishop. The only difference is that the Gloria in excelsis is sung only at the Bishop’s Mass and there is the rite for the consecration of the holy oils. He notes the fact of three hosts being consecrated. Fr Finnegan does not mention the colour of the vestments.
The Agnus Dei is omitted unlike in the Roman Rite, with the three miserere nobis. The Pax is omitted because of the arch-villain Judas. Like in the Roman rite, Ite missa est is only said if there has been the Gloria, which would be the case only at the Bishop’s Mass. Otherwise it is Benedicamus Domino.
The Maundy (Mandatum) is always separate from the Mass.
What of the Roman procession of the Blessed Sacrament and ceremonies at the Altar of Repose? They are simply absent from the Sarum Use. There is the Sepulture of the Blessed Sacrament (third host) and the cross that had been venerated, but that is on Good Friday. Fr Finnegan, like I, conclude that on Maundy Thursday, the second and third hosts are put into the hanging pyx (or tabernacle). In the Sarum Use, our depositio (‘burial) ceremonies correspond with the Byzantine Epitaphios.