Maundy Thursday - Holy Week VIDEO
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Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday (also known as Great and Holy Thursday, Holy and Great Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Sheer Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, among other names) is the day during Holy Week that commemorates the Washing of the Feet (Maundy) and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
It is the fifth day of Holy Week. "Maundy" comes from the Latin word mandatum, or commandment, reflecting Jesus' words "I give you a new commandment."
Maundy Thursday initiates the Paschal Triduum, the period which commemorates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This period includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday, and ends on the evening of Easter Sunday. The Mass of the Lord's Supper or service of worship is normally celebrated in the evening, when Friday begins according to ancient tradition.
The older English name Shere Thursday (also spelled Sheer Thursday), comes from the word shere (meaning "clean" or "bright"). This name might refer to the act of cleaning, or to the fact that churches would switch liturgical colors from the dark tones of Lent, or because it was customary to shear the beard on that day. This name has cognates in the Nordic languages, such as Danish skærtorsdag, Swedish skärtorsdag, Norwegian skjærtorsdag, Faroese skírhósdagur and skírisdagur, Icelandic skírdagur, and Finnish kiirastorstai.
During the Last Supper, Jesuspredicted his betrayal by one of the apostles present, and also foretold that before the next morning, Peter would thrice deny knowing him.
The three Synoptic Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark and Luke) describe the Last Supper as a Passover meal. Each gives somewhat different versions of the order of the meal. In chapter 26 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus prays thanks for the bread, divides it, and hands the pieces of bread to his disciples. Later in the meal Jesus takes a cup of wine, offers another prayer:
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
In chapter 22 of the Gospel of Luke, however, the wine is blessed and distributed before the bread, followed by the bread, then by a second, larger cup of wine, as well as somewhat different wordings. Additionally, according to Paul and Luke, Jesus tells the disciples "do this in remembrance of me." This event has been regarded by Christians of most denominations as the institution of the Eucharist.
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