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What Is Maundy Thursday?

What Is Maundy Thursday?

Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, falls each year on the Thursday before Easter Sunday. The day commemorates the famous Last Supper – most famously depicted by Leonardo da Vinci – when Jesus had his final meal with the 12 disciples before his crucifixion.

The day falls on the fifth day of Holy Week, one day before Good Friday – the day Jesus Christ was crucified.

"Maundy" is derived from the Latin word mandatum, the first word in the famous phrase "A new commandment I give you: Love one another" (John 13:34). In Latin, this phrase reads "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos." Jesus had said this to explain why he served the disciples after washing their feet.

That's why services on Maundy Thursday will often include feet washing or other acts of physical care to remember this scene in the Bible. Churches that celebrate the day often also hold a Lord's Supper as well.

Although Maundy Thursday is not a national holiday in the United States, it is a public holiday in several countries, including: Columbia, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Paraguay, Philippines, and Spain


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