Letters of Life

Maundy Thursday 2011

William Blake's Holy Thursday (1794).

William Blakes beautiful and sacred Holy Thursday poem

In the Christian calendar, this is Holy Week in the runup to Easter and today is known as Maundy Thursday.

Growing up in the Methodist church, I used to see this name oft-printed in the church’s calendar of events and it’s become a part of my unused vocabulary. Like most unused words in my treasury (or armoury, depending on my mood), Maundy Thursday is a beautiful phrase.

Basic research has thrown up this nugget of the word’s etymology. The English word Maundy is derived from the Latin mandatum, the first word of the phrase Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, which means A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)  These words were spoken by Jesus as he explained to the apostles the significance of His washing of their (very dusty, dirty) feet.

I have miles to go on my own (mental) feet today . . . it promises to be interesting and I am thankful for that.

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