Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, falls on the Thursday before Easter. Maundy Thursday might lie a bit outside your usual Easter traditions. Easter Sunday, Good Friday, and even Ash Wednesday services are more common than Maundy Thursday services. Nevertheless, Maundy Thursday, along with other Holy Week celebrations, is an ancient tradition, practiced by Jesus’ church all the way back to the fifth century.
Maundy Thursday it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples and the events of his passion which followed. Often, foot washing is included (John 13:3-17) and, in some churches, at the conclusion of the Service, the stripping of the church may occur in which all textiles, crosses, and images are removed or covered until Easter eve. With the setting of the sun on Holy Thursday, the Easter Triduum begins. Triduum literally means “Three Days” and stretches from sunset on Holy Thursday, through Good Friday, and to sunset on Easter.
The Christian Church continues to celebrate today to prepare us for meeting the resurrected Christ on the third day.
We usually do this by celebrating the passover together each year and breaking our Lenten fast.
By observing the Lord’s Supper together, we identify with the disciples who sat at the table with Jesus and realize together that we, like his disciples, abandoned Jesus to his death. We do this not to beat ourselves up but to recall the depth of our need for God’s mercy and the height of hope on Easter Sunday.
Jesus Washes The Feet Of His Friends, John 13:1-17
Get a bowl of water or something big enough to wash their feet with. After the reading the passage, wash each person’s feet. Remind them that those who trust in Jesus to forgive them of their sins will be washed clean and prepared to do works for God.