Bethany’s Maundy Thursday service is this coming Thursday at 7 PM. Maundy Thursday also is called Holy Thursday. It is the first day of the three days including Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. The Maundy Thursday service usually is held in the evening, and commemorates the Last Supper and Good Friday, because in Jewish tradition, Thursday evening is when Friday begins. [Image is of Simon Ushakov’s painting, The Mystical Supper, 1685.]

It is the start of the Easter Triduum, which, according to Wikipedia, “is the period that commemorates the passion, death and resurrection of Christ,” ending on the evening of Easter.

According to the Gospel of John, on the night before Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, he washed the feet of his disciples and gave them the commandment recorded in John 13:34: “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.” In many Maundy Thursday services, the washing of feet is part of the celebration.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, according to Wikipedia, “the Holy Passion service of the reading of the Twelve Gospels is conducted. In these readings Christ’s last instructions to his disciples are presented, as well as the prophecy of the drama of the Cross, Christ’s prayer, and his new commandment. The twelve readings are:

  • John 13:31-18:1
  • John 18:1-29
  • Matthew 26:57-75
  • John 18:28–19:16
  • Matthew 27:3-32
  • Mark 15:16-32
  • Matthew 27:33-54
  • Luke 23:32-49
  • John 19:19-37
  • Mark 15:43-47
  • John 19:38-42
  • Matthew 27:62-66″