Do you know the celebration of Maundy Thursday goes back at least to the fourth century, when pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem are known to have marked the Last Supper and other events of passion week with special services at holy sites?
As the idea of such passion week celebrations spread to other areas, various local rites and customs were incorporated into the Maundy Thursday celebration. Doubtless the best-known of these customs is foot washing, an old monastic exercise inspired by Christ’s example in the upper room and associated with the “new commandment” of love recorded in John 14 (hence the familiar name Maundy Thursday, “maundy” being an English corruption, via French, of the Latin mandatum: “commandment”).
At MUC we are continuing this inspiring tradition at 6.00 pm. We will begin by sharing a simple meal together and then participate in a short Liturgy of Foot Washing, remembering the words of Jesus, ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.’ (John 13:14,15)