What is Maundy Thursday? The meaning behind Holy Thursday in the lead up to Easter Sunday

What is Maundy Thursday? The meaning behind Holy Thursday in the lead up to Easter Sunday

We all know about Good Friday and Easter Sunday, but most of us aren’t aware of Maundy Thursday.

Whilst we don’t get a day off for Maundy Thursday, it’s still an important date in the Christian calendar.

It’s considered the fifth day of Holy Week and is usually observed at different times by the Western and Orthodox churches.

As we look forward to the Easter weekend, here’s everything you need to know about Maundy Thursday:

When is Maundy Thursday?

In Christian tradition, Maundy Thursday always falls on the Thursday before Easter Sunday.

This year, Maundy Thursday is on April 18.

What is Maundy Thursday?

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Maundy Thursday commemorates Christ’s last supper with the apostles in Jerusalem before being crucified and resurrected.

The name derives from the Latin mandatum, which means “command.”

According to St John’s gospel, at the meal Jesus had with his followers, he told them: “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.”

Maundy Thursday also goes by other names including Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday and Thursday of mysteries.

How is it celebrated?

The Queen attends a Royal Maundy Service (Getty ) Until 1689, it was customary for the monarch to wash worshippers’ feet in Westminster Abbey. Food and clothing were also handed out to the poor. Nowadays, feet washing remains a tradition only in the Catholic and Armenian Apostolic Churches. On this day, masses are also held by many Anglican churches.
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On Maundy Thursday, the Queen attends a Royal Maundy service at one of Britain’s cathedrals or royal chapels. This year, the Royal Maundy Service will be held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. What is Maundy money? Special coins are designed for the Royal Maundy Service (Getty) During the Royal Maundy Service, men and women from all over the country are given special coins in small purses handed to them by the Queen. These coins are designed for the occasion and are legal tender and highly collectable. This year there will be 93 men and 93 women receiving Maundy money from the monarch. This is because, since the 15th century, the number of recipients has been related to the years of the Sovereign’s life. What are the other Easter dates? (12019/Pixabay) During the 40 days of lent, there are various days that are commemorated in the Christian calendar. These include: Shrove Tuesday – February 13 Ash Wednesday – February 14 Palm Sunday – March 24 Spy Wednesday – March 28 Maundy Thursday – March 29 Good Friday – March 30 Holy Saturday – March 31 Easter Sunday – April 1 Easter Monday – April 2
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