Maundy Thursday, also called Holy Thursday or Sheer Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of Jesus Christʼs institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.
The name is thought to be a Middle English derivation taken from a Latin anthem sung in Roman Catholic churches on that day: “Mandatum novum do vobis” (“a new commandment I give to you”; John 13K34). In most European countries, Maundy Thursday is known as Holy Thursday; other names are Green Thursday (Gründonnerstag; common in Germany), from the early practice of giving penitents a green branch as a token for completing their Lenten penance, and Sheer Thursday (clean Thursday), which refers to the ceremonial washing of altars on this day.
In the early Christian church the day was celebrated with a general communion of clergy and people. At a special mass the bishop consecrated the chrism (holy oils) in preparation for the anointing of the neophytes at the baptism on Easter night. Since 1956 Maundy Thursday has been celebrated in Roman Catholic churches with a morning liturgy for the consecration of the holy oils for the coming year and an evening liturgy in commemoration of the institution of the Eucharist, with a general communion. During the evening liturgy the hosts are consecrated for the communion on Good Friday (when there is no liturgy), and the ceremony of the washing of feet is performed by the celebrant, who ceremonially washes the feet of 12 people in memory of Christʼs washing the feet of his disciples. Eastern Orthodox churches also have a ceremony of foot washing and blessing of oil on this day.
In England alms are distributed to the poor by the British sovereign in a ceremony held at a different church each year. This developed from a former practice in which the sovereign washed the feet of the poor on this day.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia BritannicaThis article was most recently revised and updated by Melissa Petruzzello, Assistant Editor.
ARTICLE TITLE: Maundy Thursday
WEBSITE NAME: Encyclopaedia Britannica
PUBLISHER: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
DATE PUBLISHED: 13 February 2020
URL: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Maundy-Thursday ACCESS DATE: April 08, 2020
See pictures and some comments here of Jerusalem as Jesus might have seen it from the Mt. of Olives before entering the Holy City on Palm Sunday. Below are pictures of the Mt. of Olives and Gethsemane as Tra and I saw them last year. Narrative from our guidebook: The Mount of Olives runs parallel and east … Continue reading “Palm Sunday’s service will be posted here after the fact.”
See pictures and some comments here of Jerusalem as Jesus might have seen it from the Mt. of Olives before entering the Holy City on Palm Sunday.
Below are pictures of the Mt. of Olives and Gethsemane as Tra and I saw them last year. Narrative from our guidebook:
The Mount of Olives runs parallel and east of the Old City of Jerusalem across the Kidron Valley. The Jewish Temple rebuilt by Herod the Great was located in the place of the golden dome in this picture. As Jesus sat with his disciples observing the exquisite beauty of Jerusalem and the imposing structure of Herod’s temple, Jesuss taught His disciples about the End Times in what is called the Olivet Discourse. (Mt. 24:1-25:46)
The central part of the Mount of Olives was a place of refuge and rest. David fled to this mountain when he was running from his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15:30-32).
During the New Testament times, Olivet proper was referred to as “The place of Men of Galilee,” since it was a favorite resting-place for Galileans on their many trips to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts.
Jesus descended from the Mount of Olives on his way into Jerusalem on the day of his Triumphal Entry. After celebrating the last Passover with His disciples, Jesus led them back to the Garden of Gethsemane on the lower slope of the Mount of Olives. Forty days after His resurrection Jesus then ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives.
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