Maundy  Thursday

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.   






                                                                                  Maundy   Money


Before   1689   it   was   customary   in   England   for   the   king   or   queen   to   wash   the   feet   of   the   poor   in Westminster   Abbey   every   Maundy   Thursday.   They    also   gave   them   gifts   of   food   and  clothing.                 In   Queen   Victoria's   time   men   received   clothing,   shoes   and   stockings   and   women   35   shillings.


These days rather   than   wash   feet   or   give   clothing   our   Queen   gives   out   specially   made   Maundy   money   in white   and   red   leather   purses.   The    white   purse   contains   silver   Maundy   coins   matching   the   Queen's age   in   pence,   90p,   while   the   red   purse   contains   ordinary   money.   In   2016   this   is   given   to   90   male and   90   female   pensioners,   because   she   was   90   years   old   this   year. The   service   takes   place   at   a different   cathedral   or   abbey   each   year   and   people   are   chosen   to   receive   the   money   because   of good   work   they   have   done   in   their   communities.   

Today because of  the Coronavirus Outbreak, it is unlikely that this ceremony will take place.