Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday immediately before Easter.

The word “maundy” is taken from the Latin translation of Jesus’ words mandatum novum, – “a new commandment (I give you . . .) (John 13:34).  Jesus gave the new commandmeent within the context of washing His disciples’ feet, which served as an explanation to them (not merely of humility) but of one aspect of the meaning of His coming death.  This is also the day on which the Lord instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  After the Holy Communion is celebrated, we will strip the altar in preparation for Good Friday.

The Scottish prayer book (of 1929) includes an extra collect for today (the collect is a translation of a prayer written by St. Thomas Aquinas for the feast of Corpus Christi):

O Lord Jesus Christ, who in a wonderful sacrament hast left unto us a memorial of thy passion: Grant us, we beseech thee, so to venerate the Sacred Mysteries of thy Body and Blood, that we may ever perceive within ourselves the fruit of thy redemption; who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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