Maundy Thursday: The meaning behind this worldwide Christian celebration

MThursday Thursday: The meaning behind this global Christian celebration

This day marks the beginning of the Easter Triad that culminates in the so-called Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For Christianity, Holy Thursday is of paramount importance because it is part of the foundation of its religion, because it is one of the last days in the life of Jesus Christ on earth, which constitutes the so-called Holy Week, a globally known celebration.

Memory of the last days of Jesus Christ

Holy Week begins with the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on a Sunday called Palm Sunday, when he is said to have been greeted with palm trees and branches upon his arrival in the city.

Days after Thursday, Christians believe, Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples and then crucified on Good Friday and later resurrected on the Sunday known as Resurrection Sunday.

Now, Maundy Thursday always appears on the calendar three days before Easter.

This year, for Western cults, it will take place on April 14th. However, the Orthodox churches of Greece and Romania will celebrate it until April 21, 2022.

Different dates to celebrate

This is because Western Christianity bases its holidays on the Gregorian calendar, while Orthodox churches are based on the Julian calendar.

Another important point to note is that Maundy Thursday depends on the date of Easter, which depends on the lunar calendar and therefore moves every year, but always occurs on the first Sunday after the moon after the vernal equinox.

Regardless of when it is celebrated, Maundy Thursday is called the Easter Triduum, the three-day period of commemoration of the Passion (the last hours) and the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is said in the Bible and Christian faith that the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his apostles before his crucifixion took place on Holy Thursday.

During this meal, Jesus predicted that one of his disciples would be betrayed and that Peter would deny his knowledge three times.

In addition, the feet are also washed, from which the name of this day comes.

Maundy, from Old French mande and Latin mandatum, meaning to delegate.

During the Last Supper, Jesus gave a new commandment as he washed his disciples’ feet, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Those who celebrate this day usually celebrate the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, offering those who attend the service bread and wine, considering the former the body of Christ and the other his blood.