Holy Week officially begins on Palm Sunday, April 9, and ends on Holy Saturday, April 15. But the days in-between are just as important, including Maundy Thursday.
So what is Maundy Thursday and what is the meaning behind it? To put it simply, Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter Sunday. During this time, Christians remember Jesus Christ's Last Supper with his apostles before he is crucified on Good Friday.
The Holy Week is a period when Christians observe and remember Christ's arrival in Jerusalem as the Lord and Savior. But the people who loved and praised him became the same ones who turned on him, especially Judas, who betrayed his trust. Before he was put on trial and crucified, Christ sat down with his apostles for a final meal.
Maundy Thursday, which is on April 13 this year, is also known by other names like Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries. It marks the first day of a solemn observance that ends on Holy Saturday.
According to umc.org, the word "Maundy" was derived from the Latin word "mandatum," which means commandment. Services that are held on this night usually incorporates "the washing of feet or other acts of physical care," just as Christ did to his disciples on the night before he was arrested.
Maundy Thursday is immediately followed by Good Friday, which commemorates Christ's Crucifixion. Holy Saturday, the last day of the Holy Week, is equally somber as it symbolizes the day Christ's body lay in his tomb. It is also when preparations are made for the next day, Easter Sunday, which is generally livelier as it is a celebration of Christ's resurrection.
It is important to recognize the significance of the Holy Week since it is observed every year. During this time, Christians from all over the world participate in the activities associated with the season and attend mass as part of their faith.