This day receives its name from the mandatum or the “commandment” given by our Lord. At the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and commanded them to love and serve one another as he had done. This service begins with a festal character, but, as with Palm Sunday, it takes on a more somber tone following throughout. Collectively on this night, we remember the joy of the institution of the Eucharist, the love and service which Jesus lived and taught, the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal leading to the crucifixion. Sufficient bread and wine are consecrated on this day for the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday. The Sacrament is then taken to an altar of repose where the faithful are asked to “watch and pray.” The altar, symbolic of Christ, is stripped of its vesture and the building is left bare for the solemnity of Good Friday. This day is also the beginning of the Sacred Triduum (“the three days”), and it is one continuous service which extends through the Great Vigil of Easter. That is why there is no dismissal at the end of this service; rather all leave in prayerful silence from the darkened church.
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Livestream of our Maundy Thursday servicePosted by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church on Thursday, April 1, 2021