Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday

  • Maundy Thursday is also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries.
  • It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels.
  • The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word for commandment or mandatum, which Jesus talked about when he told his disciples that he was leaving them a new commandment which is to love one another.
  • It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday.
  • The date is always inclusive between 19 March and 22 April but these dates fall on different days depending on the liturgical calendar use base on Gregorian or Julian calendar.
  • Eastern churches generally use the Julian calendar and so celebrate this feast throughout the 21st century between 1 April and 5 May in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar.
  • The name Maundy Thursday is more common today among Protestants than among Catholics who tend to use Holy Thursday while Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox refer to Maundy Thursday as Great and Holy Thursday.
  • It is the beginning of a three-day celebration of Easter which is the most important time in the year for Christians and this period is called The Triduum which is a commemoration of the last supper, the crucifixion and the death of Jesus, and the Resurrection to new life (the passion, death and resurrection of Christ).
  • It is customary for others to visit seven churches which is called Visita Iglesia and is a Spanish word that means “to visit churches” but some people visit 14 churches to symbolize the 14 stations of the cross.
  • Two important biblical events are the primary focus of Maundy Thursday solemnizations and the first event is the washing of the feet (Pedilavium) of the disciples by Jesus as an act of humility and service thereby setting an example that we should love and serve one another in humility (John 13:3-17).
  • The second biblical event is the celebration of the Last Supper or the Passover meal wherein Jesus took bread and wine and asked his Father to bless it which form the biblical basis for the practice of Communion (Luke 22:19-20) and many congregations observe a traditional Passover Seder meal and other churches organized a re-enactment of the Last Supper.
  • Hymns such as the Pange Lingua, Gloria, or Ubi Caritas, are usually sung in some church services during this time of the year.
Washing of the Feet and Last Supper by Duccio (1260–1318)
References:

Time & Date
Bible Gateway Blog
About.Com Christianity
Got Questions
New Advent
Woodlands Junior
Desiring God
About.Com Catholicism
Maundy Thursday

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