Maundy Thursday what does it mean?

It is so easy to get wrapped up in the trappings of Easter. I was so excited to get the Easter candy I had ordered today. With COVID-19, shopping is at a standstill. The Easter Bunny and what to have on Easter Sunday is of course fun to think about. But, the reason for the holiday is at the center of my thoughts. I find most everyone is aware of Fat Tuesday, as the day before Lent and Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the Christian Lenten season. Same goes for Good Friday, the day of Jesus Crucifixion, but I think sometimes the meaning of Maundy Thursday may get lost.

Easter Candy arrived!

The Meaning of Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday, is also known as Passion Thursday. Holy Thursday commemorates the events that took place on the night before Jesus’ crucifixion. Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. This is believed to be the day Jesus celebrated his final Passover with His disciples. During the Last Supper he issued a new commandment. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34).

Maunday Thursday
This simple cross signifies so much.

Maundy the word

The word “maundy” is actually a shortened form of mandatum (Latin), which means “command.

Maunday Thursday brought Communion

The last supper is where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Maundy Thursday is where Jesus began institution of the Eucharist during the Last Supper.

Forgiveness and Restoration

I read on the Trinity Lutheran’s Wauskesha, Wisconsin site that this day is also significant in the Lutheran history. “In the early church, Maundy Thursday was also the day on which those who had fallen away from the Church were restored to full fellowship with other believers after having observed the 40-day penitential season of Lent.”

I love that Maundy Thursday the day before Jesus died that at the end of Lent believers that repented could be restored to life in the church. Jesus restores us to life everlasting by his sacrifice so this seems a wonderful thing then and now.

Trinity Lutheran’s Maundy Thursday service

When our church, Trinity Lutheran in Auburn, Illinois has their service, the service ends in darkness with the sounds of the nails of the Crucifixion. Truly it is almost overwhelming. I’m not sure with the online version this year how it will be handled. But remembering the Lord’s Supper and his commandment to love one another, and the beginning of the Communion is a reminder of the importance of this amazing day.

While we can’t travel to attend worship services this Maundy Thursday, we can still go to online services and think about the meaning of the events that led up to Easter that changed the world.

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  1. Richard Harre

    Cindy: Great article on Maundy Thursday. I like the way you explained it and gave a good witness to Christ Jesus. I remember the slamming of the Bible, the hammering of the nails and the choir singing “Tis Finished” in darkness. The blessings and benefits of the passion and resurrection of Jesus be with you all. Rev. Richard Harre

    1. Cindy

      Thank you for the kind words Pastor!