Christians around the world will celebrate Maundy Thursday today and remember the Last Supper of Jesus Christ.
According to the Bible, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and commanded them to love one another as he loved them.
He also predicted that one of them would betray him.
For Christians, Maundy Thursday is a day of anticipation as they await the terrible events of Good Friday (when Jesus was crucified) and the good news of Easter Sunday (when he was resurrected).
It is an important part of the Holy Week before Easter.
Here’s what you need to know:
What does Maundy mean?
Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command”.
The Bible says that Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment during the Last Supper.
The passage from John 13:34 reads: “I give you a new commandment that you love one another. As I loved you, you shall love one another too.”
How is Maundy Thursday celebrated?
Some Christians remember Maundy Thursday by attending church services and washing others’ feet.
In some denominations, the church bells are rung for the last time until Easter Sunday.
In Britain, it is a tradition for the monarch to spend money on deserving seniors – a man and a woman for each year the monarch’s age.
The practice, which dates back to the time of King Edward I, takes place in a different church each year.
The Queen hands out red purses with normal currency and white purses with custom Maundy coins.
The Maundy coins are specially minted 1p, 2p, 3p or 4p pieces. They are legal tender and can therefore be spent.
The white purses contain a penny for each year of the Queen’s life, so this year she will give 95 pence in Maundy coins to each senior citizen.
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Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tradition cannot continue this year as usual.
Instead, the selected recipients will receive the two wallets in the mail.
Until the death of King James II in 1701, the monarch traditionally washed poor people’s feet during the founding service.