Maundy - History and Facts
The word 'Maundy' comes from the Latin word for commandment, mandatum.
Twopence - A small coin, and money of account, in England, equivalent to two pennies, minted to a fixed annual amount, for almsgiving by the sovereign on Maundy Thursday. Source: Websters Dictionary
The word "Maundy" is derived from the Latin mandatum meaning "command" - the same Latin root as mandatory and mandate. This is a reference to Christ's commandment to love one another, made at the Last Supper (the day before the crucifixion) when Jesus washed His disciples' feet.
Maundy Thursday. Encyclopędia Britannica. Retrieved February 1, 2004, from Encyclopędia Britannica Premium Service.
The word "Maundy" comes from the Latin for 'command' (mandatum). It refers to the command given by Jesus at the Last Supper, that his disciples should love one another.
The Middle English word 'Maundy,' used only in this context, derives from Old French mandé from Latin mandamentum or 'commandment,' in reference to the opening words of the Catholic liturgy for this day, Mandatum novum do vobis 'a new commandment I give unto you' (John xiii:34), words spoken by Jesus to the Apostles after washing their feet in preparation for the Last Supper.
The day has also been known as Sheer Thursday, due to the idea that it is the day of cleaning (schere) and because the churches themselves would switch liturgical colors from the dark tones of Lent.
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