Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Jan Harris
Deputy Group Editor
1:00 AM 28th March 2024

Maundy Thursday

photo credit Lawrence OP
photo credit Lawrence OP
The Last week of Lent is called Holy Week and helps people to think even more about the Easter Story.

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday of Holy Week and is the beginning of the three day celebration of Easter - the most important time in the year for Christians.

On this day Jesus had his last meal with his friends and followers, which was probably a Passover meal – the meal which Jewish people share together to celebrate the time when God delivered Moses and the people from slavery in Egypt.

The Last Supper

Image by Sr. Maria-Magdalena R. from Pixabay
Image by Sr. Maria-Magdalena R. from Pixabay
This meal is often called 'The Last Supper' as Jesus was betrayed and crucified on the next day, which we now call Good Friday. Jesus washed the disciples' feet before the meal in order to demonstrate the importance of serving others.

During this meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples. Christians continue to share bread and wine as part of their worship in church.

What does the word 'Maundy' mean?

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34.
The word 'Maundy' comes to us as an Anglo-French word derived from the Latin 'mandatum', which means 'commandment'.

At the meal that Jesus had with his followers, he told them: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34.

Maundy Money

This is done every year on the Thursday before Good Friday and dates back from the reign of Edward I in the 13th century.

On Maundy Thursday in 2024 Her Majesty The Queen will be distributing the Royal Maundy gifts on behalf of His Majesty The King at Worcester Cathedral. A red purse contains ordinary coins and a white one contains the silver Maundy coins which are the value of the age of the Monarch.

Maundy coins are specially minted for the occasion and are legal tender and, as they are produced in such limited numbers, they are much sought after by collectors.

Each year a different Anglican cathedral is chosen so that the money is not just distributed to people of London.

During the late Queen's reign she presented Maundy money at every Anglican cathedral in England.