What is Maundy Thursday?

Today is Maundy Thursday, as in Mandatum Thursday. Maundy Thursday is the traditional English name for the Thursday preceding Easter. The name derives from the Latin version of Jesus’ words in John 13:34: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love another."

“A new command I give you: love one another as I love you, you love one another.”

The “new command” is a “new mandate,” thus Maundy Thursday.

Jesus exemplifies this new command in his humble act of washing the disciples’ feet (John 13:5). Jesus issues the “new command” on the same day as the first Lord’s Supper. Thus Maundy Thursday has come to be a commemorative celebration of the institution of the Lord’s Supper.

Pastor Justin Villines

—————

Source: F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1065.