Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and The Triduum

Tales Of Nightingale Lynn

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]F[/su_dropcap]OR ANYONE interested in History Re: Christianity, you may find this post interesting.

I realize that there are a variety of faith’s out there, and I for one wish to know how they all work, so when people ask me about what is Maundy Thursday I tell them……….

Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday of Holy Week, commemorates Christ’s Last Supper, the institution of the Eucharist and of the Priesthood of the Catholic Church. The name “Maundy” comes from the Latin word mandatum which means “commandment”, and refers to Christ’s words in John 13:34: “ A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another, even as I have loved you”. Maundy Thursday is the first of three days known as the “Triduum”, which includes today, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil of Easter.

last supperAccording to tradition, the “upper room” in which the Last Supper took place was the home of John Mark and his mother, Mary (Acts 12:12) This room, which was also the site of Pentecost, is known as the Cenacle, from the Latin word cena, meaning “dinner”. According to Jewish belief, this is also the site of the tomb of David.

After the Passover, Jesus went outside the Old City of Jerusalem, crossed the Kidron Valley, and came to the Garden of Gethsemane, a place whose name means “Olive Press,” and where olives still grow today. This is the present-day site of the Church of the Nations. Looking out from the Garden of Gethsemane one glimpses the sight of the Temple of Solomon (where the Mosque of the Dome of the Rock stands today) together with a panoramic view of Mount Zion on which is built the Old City of Jerusalem. In this Garden of this night Our Lord was let down by His Apostles, as they fell asleep instead of keeping watch and praying, next he was betrayed by Judas with a kiss, and finally He was arrested.

At this evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper, the Sanctus bells are rung, during the Gloria, but they are removed from the Church and not rung again until the Easter Vigil. In their place, a clapper (or crotalus from the Greek word kpotohov, meaning “rattle”) is used.

At the Washing of Feet or Pedilavium, from the Latin word pedis meaning foot and lavabo meaning wash), the priest, in imitation of Christ, washes the feet of twelve men chosen to represent the Apostles for the ceremony. Before the Reformation, Catholic Kings and Queens of England, following the example of Christ and His priests, would wash the feet of twelve subjects; and in a practice dating back to King John 91199-1216) they gave money to the poor.

On this night when Mass is ended, the priest exchanges the chasuble for a cope, incenses the Blessed Sacrament in the ciborium, and in solemn procession carries the Ciborium to the Altar of Repose where it remains until the Liturgy of Good Friday.

There then follows the Stripping of the Altar, during which everything movable is taken from the church. Holy water fonts are emptied to be refilled at the Easter Vigil after the blessing of the water font. The purple veils of Lent which were replaced with oxblood veils on Palm Sunday, white veils of Maundy Thursday, and finally black veils of Good Friday, give us the sense of Our Lord’s suffering and death on that day called Good Friday.


Lynn Forrester-Pitocco
Lynn Forrester-Pitocco
LYNN is Retired from Law Enforcement as a Police Officer, with a background in nursing and previously a member of the Search and Rescue Team with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, A retired member of the Orange Police Department, she became the first female SWAT member on an elite team while becoming a member of the Olympic Shooting Team during the early years on the department. A mother and a grandmother, a devout Catholic who currently resides in Houston, Texas. Her hobbies include writing, painting, and a contemplative prayer life. She is in love with her faith, but the love she carries for her two grown children and grandchildren who rest in her heart surpasses everything except her faith in God. Since retirement, Lynn has done private investigation, worked as a gang counselor with middle schools, A member of Bl. Mother Teresa’s Order called the (Lay Missionaries of Charity), she is also a pro-life advocate, often called upon to give testimony and speak to youth groups, as well as adult forums. She has published a children’s book entitled “The Children’s Garden” and is currently working on two additional children’s books. She is currently working on the major one focused on her experience in Law Enforcement entitled “Heels and a Badge”. (copyright). Her paintings and sketches, writings, can be viewed on her Pinterest boards (click on the Pinterest ICON below). Her dream is to one-day write a movie for Hallmark. Dreams do come true … See Lynn’s entire collection of thought-provoking Articles by clicking on her byline. Lynn is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.

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  1. Lynn I read this three times, this is so interesting. I don’t know much about Catholic ceremonies or sacraments, in fact, I didn’t know a lot of these facts, but your knowledge is amazing. I know the story, but had little knowledge of the actual places. I have many friends who are Catholic, but there more like me. They know the story and have faith, but if they know all these details, we’ve never talked about them. We know so much about the physical beating but imagine the emotional agony – people who should have believed in him, didn’t. Peter denied him. Judas betrayed him. It’s all too much to think about because Jesus was perfect and never did anything wrong.