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HomeReligionDNX PAGTUO | Why is Maundy Thursday maundy and why is Jesus'...

DNX PAGTUO | Why is Maundy Thursday maundy and why is Jesus’ death on Friday good?

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The elderly Roman Catholic devotees in this part of the Philippines usually call all days of the Holy Week in the Hiligaynon language prefixed with “santo” or holy.

a question of faith by Pedro Caetano de Moura Pinheiro is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
“a question of faith” by Pedro Caetano de Moura Pinheiro is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Monday is Lunes Santo until Friday or Biyernes while Saturday is Sabado de Gloria or Glorious Saturday and Sunday is Domingo De Pascua.

There is some confusion, however, as to the English description of Thursday as “maundy” and the day of Jesus’ death on Friday as “good.”

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Maundy is derived from the Latin word “mandatum” which means command.

The Catholic Encyclopedia also refers to the pedivalium or the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus before the Last Supper, a form of Passover Seder celebration during which Jesus and his disciples ate unleavened bread.

Jesus had Jewish roots and the eating of unleavened bread harks back to the day of the exodus when the Jews had to leave Egypt in haste, bringing with them bread that had no time to rise.

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But why command?

The Bible mentions in the Book of John (13:34) Jesus new command to his disciples.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

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While Maundy Thursday’s origins can be easily explained by simply knowing the etymology or origin of “maundy,” Good Friday requires a bit of an explanation.

And a bit of looking into its theological roots.

The website Christianity.com offers an explanation and points to the one good thing about Friday: Jesus’ death

“Ever since Jesus died and was raised, Christians have proclaimed the cross and resurrection of Jesus to be the decisive turning point for all creation. Paul considered it to be “of first importance” that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and was raised to life on the third day, all in accordance with what God had promised all along in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3),” the article written by Justin Holcomb said.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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