Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday ~ Witte Donderdag

Since we are not really practicing Christians, but the girls are at an age that questions come because there are so many religions around them at school, and they see so many other traditions, I try to explain a bit to them of what I remember from my childhood. Although my parents didn't practice that much either BUT their parents did, so as long as the grandparents were alive we still went to Church and practiced our Catholic belief.

Today is Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. The date is always between 19 March and 22 April inclusive. These dates in the Julian calendar, on which Eastern churches in general base their calculations of the date of Easter, correspond throughout the twenty-first century to 1 April and 5 May in the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. In 2010 it falls on 1 April.

This Thursday of Holy Week is remembered as the time Jesus ate a final meal together with the men who had followed him for so long.

Traditionally in the Christian Church, this day is known as Maundy Thursday. The term Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum (from which we get our English word mandate), from a verb that means "to give," "to entrust," or "to order." The term is usually translated "commandment," from John's account of this Thursday night. According to the Fourth Gospel, as Jesus and the Disciples were eating their final meal together before Jesus’ arrest, he washed the disciples' feet to illustrate humility and the spirit of servant hood. After they had finished the meal, as they walked into the night toward Gethsemane, Jesus taught his disciples a "new" commandment that was not really new (John 13:34-35):

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, you also ought to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Today for us means, the last day of school this week, having a long weekend off. Nothing more nothing less...
What does Holy Thursday mean for you? Any special traditions?

And for 2 of my friends this is a special day because it is their Birthday!
Congratulations Su-Lin and Easperee, I wish you a Happy Birthday!!

Have a great Easter weekend!


Maci Miller said...

Well written! I was brought up Catholic, too, although not much practicing. To us, it is a special time for family and friends. We will go to Jeff's parents church for Easter. It's a time for us to reflect and to be thankful for all we have and for those whose great examples of love and kindness have given us all hope and inspiration. We are multi-cultural like you. We have family members who are Jewish, Catholic, & Protestant. We also will celebrate all Thai holidays at the Thai temple. Songkran as you know is in a few weeks. (What do you guys do for that??) I found some great books to explain to religion to Ruby later on. One you may like is by Mary Pope called One World, Many Religions. I really like this one. Also Unicef makes some nice books called "A Life Like Mine" and "A Religion Like Mine". But you probably have or know about all these already plus you are exposed to so much culture there. Great experience for the girls!

Leah and Maya said...

so I had never heard of Holy Thursday, my grandpa was a minister but my parents aren't relly religous at all. IF I had known more about religion the procession in Guatemala would have made alot more since, they got bigger and bigger throughout Holy week but I didn't know the different floats meanings.

Miss Footloose said...

Even though you/we may not be a practicing religious person(s) of the Christian persuasion, I think it is probably good to have the kids be familiar with the stories and the celebrations, as it would be good for them to know about the traditions of other religions. The more they know and understand of the diversity the better they're of making up their own minds later.

Of course from what I have been reading, your kids are getting a fabulous education in their international environment. I just wish this were available to more children around the world.

Megan said...

Holy Thursday is also a day we celebrate 2 of the sacraments being instituted by Christ at the Last Supper--Holy Orders and Holy Eucharist! Normally we would be at mass on this night. This year we are preparing for Peanut to have surgery tomorrow morning. It is SO wonderful to be exposing your girls and yourself to so many different views.


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