Just as Ash Wednesday begins Lent, so Maundy Thursday marks the end of Lent proper and the beginning of the Three Holy Days of Christendom, called the Triduum (Latin for “Three Days”. The Triduum includes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Saturday before Easter – sometimes celebrated with an Easter Vigil service.)
The theme of the celebration for Maundy Thursday is the Lord’s new command to his disciples of all time to love one another as he has loved. This is where the name “Maundy” comes from. It is derived from the Latin word mandatum which means “command”. The institution of the Lord’s Supper on that first Maundy Thursday sets forth the depth of Jesus’ love and gives power to the church to live out his command.
As with Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday occupies a unique place in the church calendar. It is a festival in which reconciliation with God is solemnly expressed and in which we make our transition from the preparations to celebrate the passion and resurrection during Lent into the celebration itself.
May God strengthen your faith as you celebrate the Triduum and Easter!