Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday, Azymes. The day that Christ told two of his disciples to go to Jerusalem and find a place to celebrate the Passover. Azymes is the feast of the unleavened bread and it begins on this night.
Traditionally three solemn Masses were celebrated on this day. Each had a unique purpose and each was preparation for Easter.
The Mass of the Penitents
The first Mass was the Mass for the reconciliation of penitents. These were the people who had been given a penance and banned from the church on Ash Wednesday. During Lent they had not cut their hair and presented themselves prostrate outside the church barefoot and wearing penitential garb.