Dominus Jesus (“The Lord Jesus”) is the Communion chant for the Mass of Maundy Thursday, and is based on John 13:12-13, 15.
The antiphon narrates how Our Lord washed the feet of the Apostles after finishing the Last Supper. It is a reminder for us as Catholics to act as true disciples of Our Lord; to imitate Him not only in His humility and charity, but also His purity, particularly when approaching the Eucharist. Dom Gueranger explains:
“It was the custom, in the East, to wash one’s feet before taking part in a feast; it was considered as the very extreme of hospitality, when the master of the house did this service to his guest… He would teach us, by what He is now doing, how great is the purity wherewith we should approach the holy Table. ‘He that is washed;’ says He, ‘needeth not but to wash his feet;’ as though He would say: ‘The holiness of this Table is such, that those who come to it should not only be free from grievous sins, but they should, moreover, strive to cleanse their souls from those lesser faults, which come from contact with the world, and are like the dust that covers the feet of one that walks on the road.’ ”(1)
Dominus Jesus is here interpreted by Cantores Minores Wratislavienses.
Listen to Dominus Jesus
Postquam coenavit cum discipulis suis,
Lavit pedes eorum, et ait illis:
'Scitis quid fecerim vobis,
Ego Dominus et Magister?
Exemplum dedi vobis,
Ut et vos ita faciatis.'
The Lord Jesus,
After He had supped with His disciples,
Washed their feet and said to them,
'Know you what I have done to you,
I, your Lord and Master?
I have given you an example
That you also may do likewise.’
Dom Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, Loreto Publications, 2000, vol. 6, p. 369.