Maundy Thursday

the Thursday of Holy Week, commemorating Jesus' Last Supper and His washing of the disciples' feet upon that day.
[1400-50; late ME]

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▪ religious holiday
also called  Holy Thursday 
 the Thursday before Easter, observed in commemoration of Jesus Christ's institution of the Eucharist. The name is taken from an anthem sung in Roman Catholic churches (Roman Catholicism) on that day: “Mandatum novum do vobis” (“a new commandment I give to you”; John 13:34). 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 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 (foot washing) is performed by the celebrant, who ceremonially washes the feet of 12 men in memory of Christ's 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. 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.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Maundy Thursday — The Mystical Supper, Icon by Simon Ushakov (1685). Also called Holy Thursday Covenant Thursday Great and Holy Thursday Thursday of Mysteries …   Wikipedia

  • Maundy Thursday — • The feast of Maundy (or Holy) Thursday solemnly commemorates the institution of the Eucharist and is the oldest of the observances peculiar to Holy Week Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Maundy Thursday — Maun dy Thurs day [OE. maunde a command, OF. mand[ e], L. mandatum, from mandare to command. See called from the ancient custom of washing the feet of the poor on this day, which was taken to be the fulfillment of the new commandment, John xiii.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Maundy Thursday — Thursday before Easter, mid 15c., from M.E. maunde the Last Supper, also ceremony of washing the feet, from O.Fr. mandé, from L. mandatum commandment (see MANDATE (Cf. mandate)); said to be so called in reference to the opening words of the… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Maundy Thursday — [môn′dē] n. [ME maunde, ceremony of washing the feet of the poor < OFr mandé < LL(Ec) mandatum, commandment of God < L (see MANDATE): from use of mandatum at the beginning of the prayer for washing the feet, commemorating Jesus washing… …   English World dictionary

  • Maundy Thursday —    The name given to Thursday in Holy Week, Maundy being a corruption of Dies Mandati, meaning the Day of the Command; mandati, derived from Mandatum, meaning a command. The name is given from the command our Lord gave on this day, when He… …   American Church Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Maundy Thursday — noun Etymology: Middle English maunde ceremony of washing the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday, from Anglo French mandet, from Latin mandatum command; from Jesus words in John 13:34 more at mandate Date: 15th century the Thursday before Easter …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Maundy Thursday — [[t]mɔ͟ːndi θɜ͟ː(r)zdeɪ[/t]] N UNCOUNT Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter Sunday …   English dictionary

  • Maundy Thursday — Thursday in the Holy Week, commemorating the institution of the Eucharist; the day when our Lord washed the feet of His disciples …   Dictionary of church terms

  • Maundy Thursday — noun The Thursday before Easter; commemorates the Last Supper. Syn: Holy Thursday See Also: Maundy money …   Wiktionary

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