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Maundy Thursday

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The Thursday before Easter, so called from the mandatum novum (‘new commandment’) given on this day (Jn. 13: 34). Its special commemoration of the Lord's Institution of the Eucharist is attested by the 4th cent. In the RC Church since 1955 the Maundy Thursday Mass has been celebrated in the evening. It is marked by a number of special features, including the ceremony of foot-washing (see Pedilavium), and all present are expected to receive Communion from Hosts consecrated at this Mass. After it the Hosts needed for the Liturgy of Good Friday (see Presanctified, Mass of the) are taken in procession to the Altar of Repose, where a watch is kept for some hours. In cathedral churches the Holy Oils are blessed at a special Chrism Mass in the morning. Similar ceremonies have now been authorized in the C of E. The royal ‘Maundy Ceremony’ is an abbreviated survival of the Pedilavium.

Subjects: Religion

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