For Christians, Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday) means a lot. It is celebrated a day before Good Friday, a day that many Catholic Christians believe Christ died on Mount Calvary where he was crucified. In the United States, Maundy Thursday is not considered a holiday so classes and works will continue as well as public services. But many recognize it even for non-Christians.
Maundy Thursday has a whole lot of symbolisms including the Last Supper, which almost everybody knows about because of Leonardo Da Vinci’s popular piece called of the same name. In fact, priests including the Pope will do unusual things during this day. Among the most popular act priests of Catholic Christians will do is to wash the feet of their ministers. In the case of Pope Francis, he is set to wash the feet of prisoners in a local juvenile prison.
For those who knew a little about the Holy Thursday, this is where it is based upon:
Prior to Jesus’ suffering, he spent the entire day with his apostles and had a dinner with them that night. During the supper, he revealed to them that one of the closest apostles will hand him over to the authorities for some silver coins. As far as the Bible is concerned, such prediction became true and it was Judas he was talking about. Eventually, the supper was the last he had with his followers before he died.
On that same night, they went to the garden of Gethsemane where he spent the entire time praying to his “father.” He revealed that night that his apostle Peter, considered the first pope, will deny him three times and it became true as the Bible says.
In that same place, he was seized by soldiers that were led by Judas, who hugged and kissed him for the last time. It was the fulfillment of his prophecy that his apostle will betray him. It was believed that Judas committed a suicide after learning Jesus would be put to trial and be crucified.
In short, Maundy Thursday was the Jesus spent for solemnly with his followers. Today’s celebrations will reenact what Jesus did. Aside from having an unusually longer Eucharistic celebration, Catholic priests will spend some time with their lay ministers to have a supper where the washing of the feet will be conducted. But the Good Friday is actually the center of the Lent celebration.