Maundy Thursday: History, significance, important traditions explained

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April 9, 2020 5:44 PM

Maundy Thursday celebrations: One of the celebrated days among Christian community, Maundy Thursday is being celebrated today across countries.

Maundy is derived from the Latin word mandatum which means commandment.

Maundy Thursday celebrations: One of the celebrated days among Christian community, Maundy Thursday is being celebrated today across countries. The day always comes one day before Good Friday and is also known as “Holy Thursday.” It is one of the oldest festivals that has been celebrated since the early days of the Christian Church. But what is Maundy Thursday all about and why it is famous among people with Christian beliefs? Maundy Thursday marks the day Jesus Christ “celebrated his final passover with his disciples.” It is believed that Jesus on this day had washed the feet of his disciples during the supper.

It is to note that Maundy is derived from the Latin word mandatum which means commandment. Referring this, to the instructions that Jesus gave to the disciples before the betrayal of Judas, the day is known as Maundy Thursday.

How is Maundy Thursday celebrated?

The memory of Jesus washing feet of his disciples is not only celebrated but practised as well till date in both Protestants and Catholic traditions. Washing feet is still practised by many priests across the world. The tradition has been continued by Pope Francis where he washed the feet of prisoners on this day. In Vatican City, it is a big event for people and Pope washes and kisses the feet of 12 people.

However, this year, the festival has no audience in the wake of the novel Coronavirus. With many cities on lockdown, events for this week are being conducted without the presence of the public. In the Vatican, the tradition has been shown to people via live streaming. Meanwhile in India, Kerala government’s advisory stopped people from attending the church. The ceremony was done by priests and assistants only. Around 61 lakh people in Kerala, who believe in Christanity, attended the ceremony through live streaming in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak in India.

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