M is for Maundy Thursday

#atozchallenge M is for Maundy Thursday @fillpraycloset on TwitterToday, I will discuss Maundy Thursday in the Catholic church and then how it went down in my church. Embarrassing story coming!

I shared with you some interesting tidbits about St. Luke the Evangelist yesterday. I really do try to incorporate his evangelization approach here with you.

Let’s DO this…

What is it?

Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday takes place during Holy Week in Lent (smack before Easter). This is where we celebrate the Last Supper (and also the institution of the priesthood). In John 31:1-17 we read about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. This washing of the feet reminds us of baptism. The church is also stripped and washed. For more information and symbolism associated with this special day, please visit the special section devoted to it on Catholic Online.

Why did I choose to share this particular “M” with you?

As I was coming into the faith in 2012, I was still very much in the learn-as-you go stage. I think I will always be there, it’s called continual conversion. I have come to accept that I will never be an expert in all things Catholic. Actually, I love that.

There I was, Holy Week 2012. I cantored (lead the music of the mass through singing). I heard that people were going up to have their feet washed by the priest. I got very nervous. I wasn’t ready for my feet to see daylight – no pedicure in months – I was sock-less, in ballet flats and my toes were clammy! (Sorry). I was freaking out as I saw people walk up to have their feet washed. The church was filled to the rafters. I soon figured that this also meant there was time to air out my feet! I stood behind the podium in the choir area, took off my shoes and tried to move them back and forth, slowly, to get some air on those puppies without inciting attention while simultaneously paying attention to the music I was singing. Well, as it happened, people are asked ahead of time and since I wasn’t asked I got no suds on the toes. Can you imagine?

And that’s my Maundy Thursday story!

If you have a few more moments, read an account of Pope Francis, in the first year of his Pontificate as he, washed the feet of “12 young people of different nationalities and faiths, including at least two Muslims and two women”.

Maundy Thursday #atozchallenge @fillpraycloset

Come back tomorrow for to read all about my Catholic take on the letter N. I am blogging my way through the alphabet with others who are doing the same. 

Please support the bloggers of the #AtoZchallenge by visiting, sharing or commenting. We have all worked long and hard to prepare these posts, some prepping for a couple of months, as we posted our regular schedule, took care of our children, went to work, had the flu…well, you get the idea.

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33 thoughts on “M is for Maundy Thursday

  1. Funny story!!

    That picture, Cristina, just sent a quiver through me. What a beautiful, humble gesture. When I read the story, I was even more touched. If I was one of those youths, I would be feeling extremely humble, and yet Pope Francis is the one who feels humbled. Amazing.

    Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. It is pretty amazing. This will happen again this Thursday as it has for years and years. The entire ritual is humbling to watch, experience and give. I love Holy Week!!

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  2. Was actually looking forward to this on thursday! Well written! GUess it was a great experience of the washing of feet! So many lessons there…humility, transparency…

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  3. The washing of the feet never fails to move me, Cristina. And when the Pope did that last year, it brought tears to my eyes. My foot-washing experience came when I went to a convention where every participants foot was washed and kissed by the organizers. I cringed….it’s sometimes more humbling to be at the receiving end, don’t you think?

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    1. I don’t know, I’d be cringing for whomever was doing the washing and kissing of my feet. I don’t have hammertime happening – it’s just, my feet! The lesson here is humility and I guess we all have to work on that!

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      1. Can you imagine if Christ wanted to wash our feet? Honestly, I don’t know that I could let him – not because of pride on my part, but because of my reverence for Him! What an emotional week already, and it’s only Tuesday – not much of the “real action” has even started yet!

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  4. I enjoyed reading your Holy Thursday story. I love hearing the experiences of new adult Catholics. On Saturday morning I will assist the RCIA coordinator in preparing the catechumens (elect) & candidates for the evening Easter Vigil. My role is to instruct them about reception of holy communion.

    Cristina, I’m a life-long practicing Catholic, but I have never heard Catholcs refer to Holy Thursday as Maundy Thursday. Maybe it’s a regional thing.

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    1. Hi Ruth!

      I am the prayer coordinator for the RCIA in my parish and I am also sponsoring two candidates. Very exciting indeed!

      The use of Maundy Thursday is not regional, I don’t think. Here’s a well used site for the Catholic faith that I found for you that has some more information about Holy Thursday Definition of Maundy Thursday from by Scott P Reichert of About.com. It says that while Maundy Thursday is more popular among Protestants, it’s all the same thing. Eastern Catholics call it Great and Holy Thursday. It’s similar to the use of Gaudete Sunday, Laerte Sunday and Shrove Tuesday – all Latin (language) derivatives for liturgical celebrations.

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    1. I love the your comment, now that I think about it there have been many occasions when that has happened! If only I could flick a switch to stop the worrying- unfortunately I am rather good at worrying- it seems to come naturally.

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  5. I loved your washing of the feet story. I have never heard of this in the the Catholic church. Not sure if I want my feet washed on this holy Thursday. I could only imagine the feeling and your thoughts as you were about to get feet washed. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I’ve been a Catholic my whole life and never heard of Maundy (holy Thurs yes) Thursday or the feet washing tradition.

    I love your story. I would be in the same boat as you with the clammy toes.

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  7. LOL! That was funny. On a more serious note, there are certain things I will never get used to and washing the feet is just one of them. I cringe just watching it and don’t think I will be able to deal with it on the doing nor the receiving end. I have a long long way to go….

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  8. LOL. I can completely see you doing this… I would want to do the same thing! I was in a music video a couple years back… yes. I know, crazy and available for the world to see… and in it I ran barefoot down a dirt road. I had stinky shoes on and there were all these production assistants walking around, following the “talent” one of which was me. I was horrified to see a darling girl walking with my shirt, my horrid shoes, and a bottle of cold water for me. Ohhhh man. I wished I had thought to bring along some dainty shoes that weren’t all torn up and smelly!! AHHHH! Yes, and my character was, as mine often are… not at all glamorous. In fact, they took OFF my make up, made me look uglier than normal and even greasied up my hair! LOLOLOLOL. I did learn I can run really passionately though. I had no idea I could do that!

    I’m way off the Maunday Thursday topic. Sorry God!

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  9. I love how the Church celebrates Holy Week not just through the readings, but in all senses – the smell of incense, the burying of the Alleluia, the somber tones to the music, the removal of decorations, and actions! Showing how humble Christ was (via the priest), how He came not to be served but to serve. In a way I wish I could slow time to take in the sights, smells, and sounds more thoroughly. (no feet washing for me – although I think it would be incredibly touching – and humbling – my feet get too stinky. I’m opting to carry forward the new oils instead 😉 ).

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