Thursday, April 5, 2012

Holy Thursday, Impending Death, and Basic Foot Care

"Maundy Thursday," in the dialect of English I speak, sounds a lot like "Monday Thursday," which makes no sense at all. I was still in grade school when I realized that "Maundy" and "Monday" are two different words: but "Maundy Thursday" still sounded funny.

"Maundy" comes from a Latin word - but oddly enough, Catholics are likely to call this day "Holy Thursday:"
"Maundy Thursday is a common and popular name for Holy Thursday, the first day of the Easter Triduum, the final three days of Lent before Easter. Coming at the high point of Holy Week or Passiontide, Maundy Thursday commemorates Christ's Last Supper, at which He instituted the Eucharist, the Mass, and the priesthood.

"Maundy Thursday gets its name from the Latin word mandatum, which means 'commandment.' Near the end of the Last Supper, after Judas had departed, Christ said to His disciples, 'A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.'

"The name Maundy Thursday is today more common among Protestants than among Catholics, who tend to use Holy Thursday, while Eastern Catholics and Eastern Orthodox refer to Maundy Thursday as Great and Holy Thursday...."
("Maundy Thursday - Definition of Maundy Thursday" Scott P. Richert, Guide)
Hearing "Maundy Thursday" as "Monday Thursday" had nothing to do with my later becoming a Catholic - although a pop psychologist might have other views. And that's another topic.

A Traditional Meal, Basic Foot Care, and Impending Death

Holy Thursday is a pretty big deal. We'll be following my Lord's actions for the next several days. There are two Masses today:
There's a lot going on here: a traditional meal, basic foot care, impending death, and a series of very important events. A very quick overview:
"Message to the priests and faithful taking part in the Chrism Mass"
Pope John Paul II, the Vatican (March 24, 2005)

"...With this liturgical celebration we are commemorating the day on which Christ communicated his priesthood to the Apostles...."

"Mass of the Lord's Supper - Holy Thursday, 21 April 2011"
Pope Benedict XVI, Basilica of St John Lateran (April 21, 2011)

" 'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer' (Lk 22:15). With these words Jesus began the celebration of his final meal and the institution of the Holy Eucharist...."

"Foot care?!" At the Evening Mass, we'll be re-enacting what my Lord did: washing his disciples' feet. It may not sound like much, but that set a very high standard. (John 13:15) It also connects me and everybody else in the parish church down the street to what Jesus the Christ did for all of us, about two millennia back.

Which I think is a pretty big deal.

Somewhat-related posts:

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I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

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Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

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