Maundy Thursday, sometimes called Holy Thursday, is the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the last Passover meal Jesus shared with His disciples, often referred to as the Last Supper. At this meal, two important events occurred.
First, Jesus washed His disciples' feet. Washing feet was a job for the lowliest servant. But Jesus, our Lord and Savior, humbled Himself and served His disciples. After He did so, He said, "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you" (John 13:13-15). Later that night, Jesus instructed, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). From the Latin word for "command," Maundy refers to this new instruction.
The second important event is the institution of Communion (also called the Lord's Supper or Eucharist). Matthew 26:26-29 says, "Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
Many churches have a Maundy Thursday service during which participants share in Communion. Some churches also have a foot-washing ceremony. Generally, the observance is rather somber, as it was at the Passover meal that Jesus also predicted Judas' betrayal. Shortly after the meal, Jesus was arrested and would not be released until He was raised to life on Easter Sunday.
Maundy Thursday Calendar
2022 — April 14
2023 — April 6
2024 — March 28
2025 — April 17
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