I remember having to explain to someone that when I was saying “Maundy Thursday,” I wasn’t saying “Monday Thursday.” His brain interpreted the “Maundy” as “Monday.” Then the follow-up question was, “What does Maundy mean?” I explained that Maundy comes from the Latin version of “mandate.” When Jesus, in John 13:34 says, “A new commandment I give you: love one another,” some translations say, “A new mandate I give you.” John 13, where Jesus washes feet, is usually the scripture reading for that date, so the name Maundy Thursday has stuck.

So, you’re thinking, what happens at Maundy Thursday worship? It’s the day when we remember Jesus gathered with his disciples in the upper room for a Passover feast. We remember that night with a celebration of communion. The Gospel of John tells us Jesus washed his disciples’ feet on that night, so some churches share in the ritual of foot washing (we have a handwashing). Many times this service ends with a Tenebrae service, where candles are extinguished as we hear the story of Jesus’ arrest and death.

Maundy Thursday worship is one of the most beautiful and solemn worship services we have, and I’ve found people experience the power of that night in Jesus’ life as we share in the service. I know you’ll be blessed by attending, and our Maundy Thursday Worship happens this year on March 29 at 7 p.m., and we have a dinner before the worship at 6 p.m. I hope to see you there for this special worship.

~Jason Jones