What is Maundy Thursday?


Maundy Thursday falls on March 29th this year. But what is Maundy Thursday and how to churches mark it? Find out below.
Clergy washing feet at Maundy Thursday service Ripon Cathedral

What is Maundy Thursday?

  • Maundy Thursday is the fifth day of Holy Week - the final week of Lent, which begins on Palm Sunday and runs up until Easter.
  • It gets its name from the Latin word 'mandare', from which we get the word 'command'. Christians remember Jesus's command: "Love one another as I have loved you." 
  • This is the day when Christians remember Jesus sharing the Last Supper with his disciples before his death on Good Friday. 

When is it in 2018? 

  • Next Thursday - March 29th, 2018.

Why do Christians wash feet on Maundy Thursday?

  • At the Last Supper Jesus washed the disciples' feet as an act of humility.  Some churches recreate this act of service at special services on Maundy Thursday.
  • Foot washing is a reminder of how Jesus served others and of the kind of service Christians are meant to demonstrate to others.  

What about Maundy Money?

  • Every year the Queen distributes silver coins at a special service on Maundy Thursday. It is part of a tradition dating back to the 13th Century when the Royal Family took part in ceremonies washing the feet of poor people and giving money and gifts.
  • The Maundy Money ceremony itself began in 1662, when Charles II gave out coins.
  • This year the service will take place at St George's Chapel, Windsor

Where will foot washing take place on Maundy Thursday? 
(Some examples)

  • York Minster, Chrism Eucharist, 11am - (The Archbishop of York will wash the feet of 12 people).
  • St Peter’s Church, Walworth, 6.30pm – Mass of the Lord’s Supper.
  • Guildford Cathedral, 7pm - Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper, Foot washing and the Watch.  
  • Canterbury diocese will host feet-washing in a local school.

What other events will take place on Maundy Thursday?
(Some examples)

  • St Chad's Church, York, 6.30pm - Inter-faith celebration of Christian and Jewish traditions. 
  • St Michael’s, Southfields, 8pm - Bonfire