On the night before his death Jesus had a final meal with his friends. Before this festival meal for Passover, Jesus surprised his friends by washing the feet of every person, a task that was normally done by a servant. He wanted to show his followers that they should love one another in humble ways. Later in the meal, which is known as 'The Last Supper', Jesus passed round bread and wine. He said the bread was his body broken for them and the wine was his blood shed for them. He told them that he was going to die and that when they share bread and wine they should remember him. The sharing of bread and wine at Masss takes place all year round, but it is even more special on Maundy Thursday. Jesus also told his friends that they should love one another. It was later on this night that Judas betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
The Holy Thursday liturgy is celebrated in the evening because Passover begins at sundown. Usually twelve members of the congregation come forward for the 'washing of the feet' Cleansing, in fact, gave this day of Holy Week the name Maundy Thursday.
Also at this service, members of the laity who have been chosen as Ministers of the Eucharist are commissioned for another year.
Finally, the Blessed Sacrament is taken ceremoniously to an altar of repose where it will remain ‘entombed’ until the communion service on Good Friday. No Mass will be celebrated again in the Church until the Easter Vigil proclaims the Resurrection.
The King is to hand out Maundy money for the first time as a monarch when he carries out the ancient ritual in York.
Every year on the day before Good Friday, the monarch has presented elderly members of the Church of England with special 'Maundy' coins.
These specially minted pieces are almost always handed out to worshippers over 70, nominated by local dioceses for their contributions to the church and the community.
King Charles and the Queen Consort will attend the Royal Maundy Service in York Minister on April 6, where he will present 74 men and 74 women with specially-minted silver coins to the value of 74p - signifying Charles's age - to thank the pensioners for their service in local communities.
Recipients, who are being thanked for their outstanding Christian service, each receive two purses: one red and one white, with the white one containing the silver Maundy coins.
The red purse will contain two commemorative coins, symbolising the sovereign's historic gift of food and clothing.
This year the coins will celebrate the King's forthcoming 75th birthday and the 75th anniversary of the Windrush Generation.
The Royal Maundy is an ancient ceremony which originated in the commandment Christ gave after washing the feet of his disciples at the Last Supper, before Good Friday.