What Does Maundy Thursday Mean?

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and holds great religious significance for Christians worldwide. Learn about its origins, traditions, and significance.


Maundy Thursday is a significant day in the Christian calendar that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples. It is observed on the Thursday before Easter Sunday and holds great religious and cultural significance for Christians around the world.

Origin of Maundy Thursday

The term ‘Maundy’ is derived from the Latin word ‘mandatum,’ which means commandment. This refers to the commandment that Jesus gave to his disciples during the Last Supper to love one another as he had loved them. The Last Supper was the final meal that Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion.

Traditions and Customs

One of the common traditions associated with Maundy Thursday is the washing of feet, which symbolizes humility and service. This practice is often carried out in churches during special services to reenact Jesus washing the feet of his disciples as a demonstration of his love and servitude.

Another tradition is the sharing of bread and wine, representing the body and blood of Jesus Christ. This practice is a reminder of the sacrifice that Jesus made for humanity and the establishment of the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Significance of Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday is a solemn day that marks the beginning of the Easter Triduum, which includes Good Friday and Holy Saturday. It is a time for reflection, prayer, and repentance as Christians prepare to commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Case Studies

  • In many countries, Maundy Thursday is a public holiday, allowing Christians to attend church services and participate in religious ceremonies.
  • In Spain, Maundy Thursday is known as ‘Jueves Santo’ and is celebrated with processions and religious events in cities and towns across the country.


According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 55% of American adults attend church services on Maundy Thursday, making it one of the most attended religious events in the United States.


Maundy Thursday holds great significance for Christians as it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the sacraments of Holy Communion. It is a time for reflection, prayer, and repentance as believers prepare to celebrate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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