Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday

This year, it happens to fall on that odd day we call April Fool's. Well, today happens to be a much better day than that: Maundy Thursday, the day that Jesus enjoyed the Last Supper with his disciples.
I always wondered why they called it "Maundy", so I just did a little bit of digging regarding the origin of the name. There are various theories, but I think there was one that was particularly fitting: It is a derivation of a word from Old French, mandé from the Latin mandatum. This happens to be the first word from John 13:34 in Latin:

Mandatum novum do vobis, ut diligatis invicem; sicut dilexi vos, ut et vos diligatis invicem.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.

There are two other important statements from the Gospel accounts that are titled after the first word that appears in Latin: (1)The Magnificat, the Song of Mary in Luke 1:46-55 and (2) The Benedictus, Song of Zechariah in Luke 1:68-79. So, in my opinion, the Latin verse origin of Maundy Thursday seems like a good guess. Also, if we follow the Gospel accounts of Jesus' activities, John 13-17 happens to fall on Thursday, so that seems to fit. Of course this is all in the realm of conjecture, but better than April Fool's.

2 comments:

Mina said...

I had a conversation about this with my roommate and a friend when we went to Maudy service at the National Cathedral. I must say the building and acoustics were really majestic, but was a very strange experience.

Mike S. said...

Noona: What's the National Cathedral? Never heard of that... tell me more later I guess!