7, 12 or 14?  Know how many temples you can visit this Holy Thursday

7, 12 or 14? Know how many temples you can visit this Holy Thursday

Luis Escobar / La Paz

From Max Paredes street to 16 de Julio avenue, in the center of the city of La Paz, the 14 temples for the adoration of the Holy Thursday altars are distributed. Is it necessary to visit all the temples? The faithful have a tradition of reaching seven, 12 and 14. Each of these figures has a meaning.

“There are different traditions, some speak of seven, others of 12 or even 14 churches. What should not be done is a tourist tour. What we must do is have an attitude of adoration and prayer in each one of the churches”, José Orellana, pastor of the San Sebastián church, which is located in the Alonso de Mendoza square, in La Paz, explained to Página Siete.

The priest explained that today the institution of the Eucharist is celebrated by the Lord Jesus Christ with the Last Supper. “The gesture of service that the Lord makes by washing the feet of the disciples is the example for all believers. It is a symbol of service and dedication to our neighbor,” he said.

The church of San Pedro is another option.
Photo: Carlos Sánchez / Page Seven

In each of the temples an altar is prepared to expose the “Most Holy, that is, Jesus”. “This means that he is present in the Eucharist in body and blood,” he assured.

7, 12 or 14? Know how many temples you can visit this Holy Thursday
Many temples will open their doors from 17:00.
the options.
Photo: Carlos Sánchez / Page Seven

Orellana commented that seven is “an allegory” to the perfect number: “the four cardinal points that are in all of creation and the Holy Trinity: three plus four equals seven,” said the priest.

7, 12 or 14? Know how many temples you can visit this Holy Thursday
Prayer is the main requirement to enter the temple.
Photo: Carlos Sánchez / Page Seven

The Catholic Information Agency (ACI), in general, establishes that these visits symbolize the intention of the faithful to accompany Jesus on each of his journeys from the night of his capture until his crucifixion.

7, 12 or 14? Know how many temples you can visit this Holy Thursday
The entrance to the San Juan de Dios church, in the center of La Paz.
Photo: Carlos Sánchez / Page Seven

In the first church, Jesus’ journey from the Upper Room, where he celebrates the Last Supper with his disciples, to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he prays and sweats blood, is remembered.

In the second, he meditates on the journey from the Garden of Gethsemane to the house of Annas, where he was questioned by Annas and received a slap in the face.

In the third church, the prayer focuses on Jesus’ journey to the house of Caiaphas, where he was spat on, insulted and suffered pain throughout the night.

The focus of thought for the fourth church is the first appearance of Jesus before Pilate, the Roman governor of the region. There Jesus was accused.

In the fifth church, the Lord is accompanied in his appearance before King Herod, who, together with his guards, insults him.

7, 12 or 14? Know how many temples you can visit this Holy Thursday
In the temples, the priests install special altars.
Photo: Carlos Sánchez / Page Seven

In the sixth church, people meditate on the second appearance before Pilate and when Jesus was crowned with thorns and sentenced to death. In the last temple, the journey of Christ from the house of Pilate to Mount Calvary carrying the cross on his back, his death and his passage to the tomb, from where he rose on the third day, is remembered.

The La Paz priest added that the tradition of many faithful is to reach the 12 temples because they represent each of the apostles that Jesus had. He indicated that number 14 is also taken for each of the stations of the Via Crucis (see infographic).

“That does not mean that people must meet a rigorous number of temples to be in relationship with God. If a person wants to stay in one church in prayer, he can do it. They are not norms,” he stated.

“People who enter each of the temples must do so in prayer. They must kneel, look and contemplate how the Lord remained in that piece of bread to be our food and strength. It is the sense of prayer, adoration and thanksgiving,” he indicated.

The San Sebastián parish, for example, will begin the celebration at 5:00 p.m. this Holy Thursday. The adoration will start at 7:00 p.m. and last until midnight, according to the organizers.

These same schedules are repeated in all the temples of the municipality, especially in the center of the city.

Easter Sunday

Friday commemorates the passion and death of Jesus. “Normally in the celebrations of Good Friday we do what is called the liturgy of the word and the adoration of the cross. That is, the image of Christ dead on the cross (…) In some parishes they organize the procession with the holy sepulchre”, he said.

The Easter Vigil is held on Saturday, the most important of the year among devotees because they celebrate Jesus’ victory over death with his resurrection. “It is the most important of our faith because we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.”

7, 12 or 14? Know how many temples you can visit this Holy Thursday

What are the liturgical colors of Holy Week?

  • Importance These liturgical colors denote a higher importance for the Catholic Church.
  • White The General Instruction of the Roman Missal indicates that white is used in the offices and masses of Easter Time. It is used -also- in the celebrations of the Lord that are not of his Passion. White and/or gold “symbolize the joy and purity of the soul”, and are always used at Christmas and Easter.
  • Red The Church determines that red must be worn on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and all other commemorations of the Lord’s Passion. This color means “the shedding of blood” and also “symbolizes the burning fire of God’s love”.
  • Purple o Violet is used in the Lenten season during the preparation for Holy Week, while violet is sometimes used on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
  • Meaning These colors represent a “sign of penance, sacrifice and preparation” for the Lenten season. According to the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, “on the most solemn days sacred festive or nobler vestments may be worn (…)”.

There are different traditions, some speak of seven, others of 12 churches or even 14

José Orellana, parish priest of the San Sebastián church

If a person wants to stay in a single church in prayer, he can do it

José Orellana, parish priest of the San Sebastián church



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