What is Maundy Thursday?

Lenten Series:
    1. What is Lent?
    2. Should Christians Celebrate Lent?
    3. Should I Give Something Up for Lent?
    4. What is Ash Wednesday?
    5. What is Maundy Thursday?
    6. What is Good Friday?
    7. What is Easter?

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. This marks the day Jesus shared the Last Supper with his disciples in the Upper Room. It is also known as Chare Thursday and associated with Tenebrae (the extinguishing of candles in preparation for Good Friday).

As a kid I always thought it was “Monday Thursday,” and I am sure there are plenty of adults who still wonder what the word “Maundy” means. There are two possible origins. Most connect it to the word “command” (Latin mandatum) in John 13:34: “A new command I give you: Love one another.” Others connect it to the word “wash” (Latin mundo) and Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.

Most churches that observe Maundy Thursday celebrate the Lord’s Supper together on this night. Other common practices include holding a Passover or Seder Meal, practicing a symbolic foot washing, extinguishing candles and stripping the church of its ornamentation.

Jesus said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” (Luke 22:15-16)

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