As part of your preparation for Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, be sure to read or reread the “Circular Letter Concerning the Preparation and Celebration of the Easter Feasts” (Paschale Solemnitatis), issued by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship in 1988.
In that letter, the three days is called “the triduum of the crucified, buried, and risen” (#38) and the “Easter Triduum” (#27). This is important because the celebration of Holy Thursday and Good Friday are already Easter celebrations! On any day of the Triduum, we do not pretend that Christ has not died or that Christ is not risen. The Triduum is not a historical drama or a “leap back into time.” Rather, we remember what Christ has done for us and still continues to do for us now, which leads us always to the future hope promised in the kingdom.
This is especially important on Holy Thursday at the foot washing. Although it may be quite moving, do not perform the foot washing during the Gospel reading. Doing so makes it too much of a re-enactment instead of a ritual that signifies our participation in Christ’s mission. Also do not assign 12 persons to be those whose feet are washed. Nowhere do the rubrics say to use exactly 12 people, as though they are the 12 apostles. In addition, historical costumes of any kind are not appropriate.