An article at umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-maundy-thursday defines Maundy Thursday as “an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word “Maundy” comes from the Latin mandatum, which means “commandment.”
As recorded in John’s gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34).” This is why church services on this night generally include the washing of feet or other acts of caring as an integral part of celebration.
While John’s gospel does not record the institution of the Lord’s Supper among the events of this night, the other Gospels do. Many Christians therefore celebrate this night in fellowship at the basin (footwashing) and at the Lord’s Table (Holy Communion).
Good Friday and Easter (or Resurrection) Sunday celebrate what our Lord and Savior did for us through the passion and power of his love. But Maundy Thursday celebrates what he commands us to do for one another, through the imperative of his love.
Learn more about this important but often overlooked holy day at “Maundy Thursday — Chuck Knows Church.”
For Holy Week worship planning ideas visit www.gbod.org/planning-calendar/holy-week
and see pages specifically for Holy Thursday Apr. 17, 2014, Good Friday Apr. 18, 2014, Holy Saturday Apr. 19, 2014, Easter Sunday Apr. 20, 2014 and Easter Season Apr. 20, 2014.