In the Christian liturgical calendar, Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is the feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot. The morning celebration of these events marks the beginning of what is called the Easter Triduum or Sacred Triduum. The Latin word triduum means a three-day period, and the triduum in question is that of the three days from the death to the resurrection of Jesus. It should be noted that for Jesus and his followers a day ended, and a new day began, at sunset, not at midnight, as it still does today in the modern Jewish calendar. The Last Supper was held at what present-day Western civilization considers to be the evening of Holy Thursday but what was then considered to be the first hours of Friday. Its annual commemoration thus begins the three-day period or triduum of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, days of special devotion that celebrate as a single action the death and resurrection of Christ, the central events of Christianity.
20 March 2008
When I was a child I used to always wonder during "Maundy Thursday" how Thursday became "Monday"... well that was a very long time ago, and my parents, and then later on my religion teacher (Sister Luisa) have already explained to me the meaning of Maundy -- which actually came from a latin word which means "mandate" or Commandment -- which is the Thursday before Easter. This is when we commemorate the day when Jesus, before he was crucified, instituted the Holy Communion during the Last Supper.
Well, as a catholic, not only is this day a very special day of realizing how the Lord loves us so much but it is also a time of reflection of what is innately good in us and in the people around us... This is truly how we can see Jesus through our neighbors, our family and friends. May we always remember that life is what we make it and if we choose to live life with faith that Christ will always guide us (we just have to listen well).