Maundy Thursday

This year (2013) Maundy Thursday falls on Thursday 28th March. It is also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, and is a Christian feast or holy day on the Thursday before Easter which commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday.

It is followed by the Easter Triduum of Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday which commemorate the Passion, Death and Resurrection of JesusThe Maundy Thursday celebrations in the United Kingdom today involve the Monarch (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) offering “alms”, to deserving senior citizens (one man and one woman for each year of the sovereign’s age). These coins are known as Maundy money or Royal Maundy and are distributed in red and white purses. This custom dates back to King Edward I. The red purse contains regular currency and is given in place of food and clothing. The white purse contains currency in the amount of one penny for each year of the Sovereign’s age.