Maundy Thursday

During Holy Week, the Thursday before Easter that commemorates Jesus Christ's institution of the eucharist at the Last Supper. Maundy Thursday services typically include the consecration of the holy oils for the coming year and a ceremony in which the feet of 12 men are washed in remembrance of Christ's washing the feet of his disciples. The custom in England is for the British sovereign to distribute alms to twelve deserving poor people in a different church every year.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
30934
Names
Maundy Thursday
Holy Thursday
Green Thursday
Sheer Thursday
Clean Thursday
Witte Donderdag Dutch
Gr√ľndonnerstag German
Jueves Santo Spanish

More Definitions

During Holy Week, the Thursday before Easter that commemorates Jesus Christ's institution of the eucharist at the Last Supper. Maundy Thursday services typically include the consecration of the holy oils for the coming year and a ceremony in which the feet of 12 men are washed in remembrance of Christ's washing the feet of his disciples. The custom in England is for the British sovereign to distribute alms to twelve deserving poor people in a different church every year. The variant name 'Green Thursday' refers to the early practice of giving penitents a green branch after completing their Lenten penance and the variant name 'Sheer Thursday' (also 'Clean Thursday') refers to the ceremonial washing of altars that takes place on this day. The name 'Maundy Thursday' comes from a Latin antiphon sung on this feast day in Roman Catholic churches: "Mandatum novum do vobis" ("a new commandment I give to you"; John 13:34).

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300264413. The J. Paul Getty Trust.