Maundy, Maundy, so good to me …

Maybe the Mamas and the Papas were really singing about Maundy Thursday?

Or maybe not. But why do we call it not just Holy Thursday but Maundy Thursday? Just what does “Maundy” mean?

The word is a corruption of the Latin word mandatum. We find this in John 13:34, where Jesus has just finished washing His disciples’ feet and is explaining for them the significance of His actions.

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos” (“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you”).

It is also called “Shere Thursday” from a word connoting “clean,” “pure,” “clear,” or “bright.” This is thought to come from the white linens used for the liturgy this day. It is also the day men would shear their beards in order to symbolize them presenting themselves clean for the Lord and as new creations now that Lent was over. After all, Lent is about transforming ourselves and putting on the new man in Christ.

A blessed Maundy Thursday to one and all.


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