Monday, March 26, 2012

Maundy Thursday is Fast Approaching

Easter is coming! My favorite holiday! This year it falls on Sunday, April 8th—jus tunder two weeks away. While there are many fun traditions associated with Easter that are carried out in our culture such as dying eggs and hiding baskets that symbolically teach us about the reason we celebrate Easter, there are many other traditions that few people know about that can give our Easter celebrations more meaning. One of these is Maundy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday falls on the Thursday before Easter. It is also known in some places as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, or the Thursday of Mysteries. But I like the term Maundy Thursday best because Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum which means “command” and refers to the commandment Jesus gave on the last Thursday of His life: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” (John 13:34). The old command had been to “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:39), but His last commandment set a new standard--love others as He loved.

Traditionally, in certain parts of the world, on Maundy Thursday a Maundy Ceremony is performed where people wash the feet of the poor in commemoration of Jesus washing the feet of His apostles and instructing them to serve others, which also took place on Maundy Thursday. Over the years the traditions of how to serve others changed from washing feet to the giving of Maundy Money to the poor. However it is celebrated, Maundy Thursday is about following the Savior’s example of serving others and giving of oneself with love.

So as Maundy Thursday approaches (April 5th) if you don’t already celebrate the day as part of your commemoration of the Atonement and Resurrection of the Savior, it could add to the meaning of your Easter to start a Maundy Thursday tradition of your own. You don’t have to wash feet or give money, but serve others in any way you can and see how it enhances your Easter celebration.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

Thank you for making me aware of this again. I added it to my calendar, next to Good Friday. :)