Sanctuary • 6:30 p.m.
Maundy Thursday is a term derived through the Old French mande from the Latin mandatum novum, “a new commandment” associated with John 13:34 and perhaps also with the footwashing reported earlier in the chapter.
It is on this night in Holy Week that we remember the final supper Jesus shared with His disciples in the context of Passover. This event, which reveals the holiness of all subsequent meals eaten in His name, institutes the beginning of the church’s celebration of the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, or the Eucharist.
This evening also marks the beginning of the most solemn and joyful celebration of the entire Christian year. It is hoped that each person present will become more aware of the sadness and despair evident before and during the crucifixion. At the end of the service following the dismissal, each person is asked to leave silently as he or she contemplates the tragedy of the Cross.
Jesus, the Son of God, is dead; there is nothing more to do but wait--for the Day of Resurrection!