On Maundy Thursday, we reflect upon the events of the night before Jesus’s crucifixion.   We remember how Jesus broke bread for his disciples, saying:  “Take; this is my body”, and offered them a cup of wine saying: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” Mk. 14:22-24.  In our worship on Maundy Thursday we will celebrate Jesus’s institution of the Lord’s Supper and the new life that is offered to us through the sacrifice of his body and blood.

In addition to celebration, our worship also reflects the sobering reality that most of Jesus’s disciples abandoned, betrayed or denied him within a few hours of the Last Supper.   In light of their sins and our own, we remember Jesus’s words to Simon Peter on that same night in the garden of Gethsemane when he said:  “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mk. 14:38.

“Maundy” is derived from the Latin translation of Jesus’s words to his disciples when he told them:  “A new commandment [mandatum] I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”