Holy Week continues. It began with Palm Sunday and continues with Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and finally Easter Sunday. Today we celebrate Maundy Thursday. The term “Maundy” comes from the Latin word “mandatum,” derived from a verb that means “to give” or “to order,” — a command. After Jesus and the disciples finished the Last Supper and walked toward Gethsemane, Jesus taught them a new commandment: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34).
On this day we mark the official end of Lent by receiving individual absolution, or forgiveness, symbolized by oil marking the cross on our forehead, just as the ashes did on Ash Wednesday. We also remember the first Lord’s Supper and the washing of the disciples’ feet.