What is Maundy Thursday? Meaning behind Easter date explained

Friday, April 15, 2022
author picture Gabriel Martim
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Easter Date Explained

If you've ever wondered why the Easter date is on a Thursday instead of a Sunday‚ you're not alone. Most countries have public holidays on Maundy Thursday‚ the night when Jesus was betrayed by Judas. It's also a public holiday in some German states. In the past‚ civil servants were given half-days off‚ but in the UK after David Cameron's election in 2012‚ this privilege leave was withdrawn.

Maundy Thursday is a public holiday in most countries

The term Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin word'mandatum'‚ which refers to the commandments that Jesus gave his disciples on this day. Maundy Thursday is one of the oldest holy traditions in Christianity. In medieval times‚ it was also called Green Thursday‚ referring to the practice of giving green branches to penitents on the night before his death. The day was also closely related to baptism. The day is marked by mass communions in most churches‚ and the poor are often helped with food and drink by the wealthy. Maundy Thursday is also associated with other traditions‚ such as washing the feet of the poor. England traditionally distributes purses to the poor on this day. However‚ there are many different traditions around the world. In some countries‚ the day is observed as a public holiday. Many churches celebrate Maundy Thursday with a service called communion. This is a special time for believers to reflect and practice forgiveness. In some countries‚ the service is followed by a meal of fresh green vegetables. In Bulgaria‚ the day is associated with a tradition where children dress up as witches and collect candy. In Germany‚ the Queen gives out coins called Maundy money to senior citizens to mark the day.

It marks the night of Jesus' betrayal by Judas

The night before Easter is an important date in the Christian calendar. It is believed that Jesus washed the disciples' feet at the Last Supper and that He established the Eucharist. The event is also known as Spy Wednesday because Judas betrayed Jesus and offered to betray him to the religious leaders. This event is commemorated with a special service known as a Tenebrae‚ Latin for shadows. In this service‚ lit candles are gradually extinguished as the chanters recite the words of selected psalms and readings. Traditionally‚ Christians mark Maundy Thursday by performing a service with archaic customs. Maundy Thursday is also celebrated in the Catholic Church as Maundy Thursday. This Mass commemorates the Last Supper‚ which was held in the presence of the disciples. After the meal‚ Jesus and His disciples went to the Mount of Olives where Judas would betray him. The disciples then returned to the tomb and stayed with Jesus. At the end of the night‚ Judas betrayed Jesus and the two disciples were thrown into the tomb. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper‚ which took place before the crucifixion. It is the last meal Jesus shared with his Disciples in Jerusalem before His arrest. In addition to commemorating His Last Supper‚ Maundy Thursday also marks Jesus' arrest in Gethsemane and the foundation of the priesthood. In addition to the Last Supper‚ the service also commemorates Jesus' washing the disciples' feet.

It marks the end of lent

The last day of Lent is known as Maundy Thursday‚ which is celebrated on the evening of Holy Thursday. In traditional Christian communities‚ this day is observed by giving up something of value in exchange for an indulgence. It is said that the act of fasting dates back to the year 325 A.D. It is also a time when the Catholic Church encourages people to refrain from sins‚ and therefore‚ to live a life of charity and self-sacrifice. Moreover‚ Lent is also a time for giving up sins‚ such as gambling‚ or watching television. In the Roman Catholic tradition‚ Lent ends on Holy Thursday‚ 46 days after it began. The Christian calendar also identifies the date of Easter‚ the first Sunday after the spring full moon. The first full moon in 2019 will fall on March 20‚ while Easter is celebrated on April 17. In addition to being a public holiday‚ Maundy Thursday is also observed as a day of prayer. After the Last Supper‚ Jesus commanded his disciples to remain with him to pray. In this way‚ he is demonstrating that we can also love one another. Jesus washed the disciples' feet as an act of kindness‚ and he also commanded them to do the same for others. This gesture of kindness is celebrated by washing their feet and kissing theirs. Additionally‚ the Queen of England awards coins known as 'Maundy money' to senior citizens.

It marks the beginning of Easter

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Easter celebration‚ a three-day festival that commemorates the death and resurrection of Jesus. In many churches‚ the day is also known as Holy Thursday‚ Sheer Thursday‚ or Thursday of Mysteries. As the day prior to Easter‚ it is a time of reflection‚ as Christians remember the last supper‚ the crucifixion‚ and the death of Jesus. On Easter Sunday‚ these events are commemorated with a resurrection and a new life. Maundy Thursday is part of the Christian celebration of Easter. It marks the night of Jesus' Last Supper‚ during which he washed his disciples' feet. The Pope traditionally kisses the feet of 12 church members and senior citizens‚ and the Queen gives out Maundy money to the elderly. The word maundy derives from the Latin word mandatum‚ which refers to the commandments Jesus gave his disciples at the Last Supper. The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday. On this day‚ Christians fast and repent in preparation for the Easter celebration. They also remember the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion by Rome. A ceremony of penance is held during Lent to mark the start of the season. While Christians practice penance throughout the forty-day period‚ some choose to stop doing penance on Maundy Thursday and begin again on Ash Wednesday.

It marks the giving of money to the poor

Maundy Thursday commemorates Jesus' Last Supper and the day when the Pope and Queen give the Maundy Money to the poor. Spy Wednesday refers to the traitor Judas. The three days of events that follow are known as the Easter Triduum. On Holy Thursday‚ people remember the Last Supper and pray for priests and the poor. On the Wednesday before‚ people remember the Last Supper by giving money to the poor. The practice of giving to the poor on Maundy Thursday has been attributed to Jesus' last supper with his disciples. In this event‚ Jesus washed the apostles' feet‚ making the event a symbol of equality and humility. Throughout the centuries‚ people have practiced this tradition. Traditionally‚ priests washed the feet of church goers‚ and some still wash their feet. In recent years‚ many people follow the 40-day practice of Lent‚ which ends on Holy Saturday‚ which falls on 3 April this year. In some countries‚ people give money to the poor on this day‚ and some also wash the feet of church goers during the service. As a sign of gratitude‚ the King of England would wash the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday. Traditionally‚ they would also give out clothes or money. In modern times‚ the custom has continued‚ and the Queen will distribute commemorative Maundy money at her annual Royal Maundy Service. The Queen also meets children during the service. The tradition dates back to the reign of Edward I.

It marks the visit of seven churches

Maundy Thursday‚ the evening of Holy Thursday‚ is a special day for Christians where they visit seven churches to pay homage to Christ‚ who suffered the cross to save mankind. These visits are traditionally done after evening Mass on Maundy Thursday‚ and may continue until the 3 PM service on Good Friday. Processions are held by individual churches and can include seven short processions around the church. During the processions‚ prayers are recited before the Altar of Repose. The day is also known as Holy Thursday‚ the Thursday of Mysteries‚ and Covenant Thursday. It is observed to commemorate Jesus' last supper with his apostles. The day always falls between the dates of Good Friday and Easter‚ and is marked by a special Mass and prayer. There are some traditions associated with this day‚ so it is important to know them. Here are some of them. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia‚ the day is called Green Thursday‚ or Zeleny ctvrtek. In Poland‚ Maundy Thursday is celebrated as Green Thursday on Maundy Thursday. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia‚ the day is called Green Thursday‚ because the crucifix is covered by a green garment. The day also marks the visit of seven churches on Easter date.