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Ask the Pastor

† Theological musings and answers to selected questions by a confessional Lutheran pastor.

05 April 2007

Maundy Thursday

Q: Where do we get the term Maundy Thursday?

Last SupperA: Also known as “Holy Thursday,” the Church uses this fifth day of Holy Week to remember the institution of the Lord’s Supper. From the account of the Upper Room in John 13:1-15, some have called it the Day of Food Washing.

“Maundy” may come from the Latin Bible’s rendering of John 13:34, where Jesus gave the disciples a new mandatum (commandment) in the upper room: “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.”

Another idea is that it grew out from an ancient custom of carrying gifts to the poor in hand baskets (known as “maunds” or “maund baskets”) on that day.

Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version™, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles.

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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once attended a Maundy Thursday service in which part of the communion wine was poured out onto the altar. It was a very moving experience, however, I never seen or heard of it being done anywhere since. Do you know anything about this practice?

05 March, 2008 15:45  

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