April 6 – Maundy Thursday 2023 (Regular Holiday)
The day during Holy Week that commemorates the Last Supper and Washing of the Feet of Jesus Christ with his Apostles, as related in the canonical gospels, is known as Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday, also referred to as Sheer Thursday.
Maundy, which relates to Jesus’ command to the disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you,” is derived from the Latin word for “command.”
Jesus cleaned the 12 disciples’ feet during the Last Supper as they ate their last supper together. In the ancient world, a host would provide water for guests to wash their feet. So, washing one’s feet is a show of hospitality—of openness and consideration. Christians now view Jesus’ act of washing the disciples’ feet as a parable for a selfless mission of service. Jesus’s new commandment was pushing his disciples to grant forgiveness to everyone since the deed has come to symbolize the purification of sin from his fellow Christians.
The Last Supper is recounted in the Gospels as the last supper that Jesus Christ and his 12 disciples shared before his arrest and subsequent crucifixion. It is known as the Last Supper because it was the final (last) time they shared a meal (supper) of wine and bread. This event led to the institution of the Eucharist, which serves as a reminder of how Jesus gave his body (represented by the bread) and blood (represented by the wine) as a sacrifice for the sake of humanity.
Since Maundy Thursday is a regular holiday, Filipinos typically visit seven churches on Maundy Thursday as part of a tradition known as Visita Iglesia, which is Spanish for “to visit churches.” Some Filipinos, however, visit 14 churches to represent the 14 stations of the cross.
Maundy Thursday was honored in the early Christian church with an all-clergy and all-people communion. The chrism (holy oils) were consecrated by the bishop during a special liturgy in advance of the neophytes being anointed at their baptism on Easter night.