A non-Christian friend asked me if I could explain exactly what Holy Thursday is and why it is celebrated. For anyone else who might not know and is interested, Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, commemorates the beginning of the three pillars of the Catholic Church: The Sacrament of Holy Communion, the creation of the Priesthood, and last but not least, the creation of the Mass, which you may have friends who you know to usually attend on Sundays.
At the last supper, which was a Passover Seder, Jesus blessed the bread and the wine and instructed his disciple to eat and drink of them, that they were His body and blood, to be sacrificed for the salvation of man. When Jesus told them to, “Do this in memory of me,” he was creating the mass and blessing them as the first priests. It was at this supper that Jesus commanded his apostles to, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Holy Thursday also commemorates Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. John tells us in his Gospel, that Jesus did this as a way of teaching them to be servants. They are then instructed to “love and to serve.”
It was on this night that Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and turned over to the chief priests and the elders, leading to his passion and crucifixion on Good Friday. It was these events that led to the Resurrection of the Christ on Easter Sunday, which is the very basis of Christianity.
Usually on Holy Thursday, there is not any other Mass celebrated until this, “Mass of the Lord’s Supper,” which takes place after sundown.
Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Holy Thursday’
Until next time,