Q: Where do we get the term Maundy Thursday?
A: 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.
Walter Snyder is a Lutheran pastor, conference speaker, author of the book What Do Lutherans Believe, and writer of numerous published devotions, prayers, and sermons.
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