Why 7 churches on Holy Thursday?

Can anyone tell me why we visit seven churches on Holy Thursday. Last year was the first time I did it and I took my three children-ages 6 thru 14. at first they were not thrilled but after a couple churches they enjoyed it. It was wonderful just being in the presence of the Lord. all the churches were so beautiful. If I can get some history on this it would be great.

I’ve never heard of this custom, but I sure am interested in finding out about it. Someone on these forums is bound to know.

**The Altar of Repose
**When the Eucharist is processed to the altar of repose after the Mass of Lord’s Supper, we should remain in quiet prayer and adoration, keeping Christ company. There is a tradition, particularly in big cities with many parishes, to try and visit seven churches and their altar of repose during this evening.

For the whole story about Holy Thursday go to the link below-
And happy easter to all.

We visit nine and have been doing since we were children. It is a type of novena prayer…keeping watch with Jesus…As he has asked us…Pray with me, remain here with me, watch and pray.It has become a tradition now, so that even our children who are college age will come in and do the vigil with us. We are blessed indeed.
Our parish will remain open all night for Eucharistic adoration.

When I was little my mother would take us on Good Friday and visit 3 different churches. I cherish these moments with my mom and always think about these visits this time of year.

I never heard of this practice. Then again, where ever I lived there has never been seven Catholic churches within an hour commute.

I started going to the 7 churches with my sisters in law, 19 yrs ago. I didnt know why we did it either, because I never did it in New Brunswick, NJ. So I looked it up and found that it is a tradition from the Phillipeans and it is to honor the Seven wounds of Christ. You would enter the church, go to the place by the alter genuflelct on BOTH knees, bow your head completely, bless yourself before entering the pew and when leaving. It is my time with our Lord and say what is in my heart. Pray our prayers, Our father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Fatima prayer, …and leave and hope to see someone I know to wish them a Blessed Easter…I hope this helps and Enjoy your Easter and Be blessed.

Hi, breezy…

It is a tradition in the Philippines. I do not know if it is done elsewhere. It is a sort of novena or devotion to honor the 7 wounds of Christ, I think.

After the Thursday mass of the last supper, after supper, families would visit seven parishes and worship in each parish, as the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration.

You should also note, that in the Philippines, being a predominantly Catholic country, Holy Thursday and Good Friday are holidays. So families are all together during these days. That is why families can go spend all night visiting other parishes.

Also, because of the 14 stations of the Cross, you pray 2 stations per church. Some would do 14 churches, so 1 station per church.

Interestingly, today our Bishop told us a story that in Ukraine after all the Liturgies are done for the day on Good Friday, people would walk around the city (this was in L’viv) going church to church because for Good Friday each church would build a tomb for Christ and place a shroud with an icon of the entombed Christ on it. So they would line up to each church to reverence the shroud. Then walk to the next one.

It amused me so much that it was so similar to Visita Iglesia which we do in the Philippines.

Yep…i miss holy week in the Philippines. The Visita Iglesia, the Pabasa…the Wednesday and Friday procession…the Salubong…

In Croatia we do not visit on Holy Thursday seven churches.
I was in one and there were beautiful Mass with beautiful preaching.

Hello, a friend explained a couple of days ago that visiting 7 churches during the Holy Week goes back to the day when Virgin Mary was searching for Jesus, aged 12 then, and had to go to 7 different temples before she finally found Jesus in the 7th temple. I’m not sure if this friend is a reliable source.

There was only 1 temple in the entire world that Jesus could have been in because there was only 1 Jewish temple.

According to “The Raccolta” - a manual of indulgences, No 779
"The faithful who in one day, according to the rule of canon 923 of the Code of Canon Law (old one), complete the devout visitation of the seven basilicas of the city of Rome, to wit, St Peter’s in the Vatican, St Paul’s outside the Walls, St John Lateran, St Mary Major, St Sebastian’s, St Lawrence outside the walls, and Holy Cross in Jerusalem, reciting in each Basilica Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be, five times before the altar of the Blessed Sacrament and the same prayers once more for the intentions of His Holiness the Pope, adding also some prayer, according to their liking, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the Titular Saint of the respective Basilicas, and substituting, in memory of the Passion of our Lord in the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, the Apostles’ Creed and the versicle "we adore Thee, O Christ," etc., for the prayer to the titular Saint, may gain: A plenary indulgence for the visit to each of the Basilicas, on condition of confession and Holy Communion; in such a way, however, that itf they are accidentally hindered from completing the entire pilgrimage through no fault of their own, they are not deprived by this interruption of the indulgences which they have gained by the visits already completed