On this day, many Christian traditions will commemorate Maundy Thursday, the beginning of what is called “the Three Days” (or Triduum, Latin for “three days”). “Maundy” comes from the word mandatum, which means “commandment.”
One of the prayers for today reminds us that “on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us.”
At the worship service tonight, some congregations may follow Jesus’ example and members will wash one another’s feet. In a congregation where I once belonged, this was one of the most somber, quiet nights of the church year.
After the service, in the darkened sanctuary smelling of candle smoke, a few of us would sit in silence. It was the stillest I would be all year and I considered it to be one of the great gifts of the liturgical calendar.
Today is Maundy Thursday. The readings are Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14; Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35. We remember Oscar Arnulfo Romero, bishop of El Salvador, martyr, who died in 1980. This message is adapted from the blog, “The Three Days,” written by Kate Sprutta Elliott.