The Easter Triduum: Looking At Maundy Thursdays


Easter has been celebrated since the 2nd century and it normally occurs on the 4th of April of every year.

It is one of the major Christian festival celebrated by the church across the world. 

The whole celebration has some three important days which are christened the Easter Triduum. Thus, the Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. 

To appreciate this Easter dynamics, D.C. Kwame Kwakye interviewed Fr. Domenick Eshun, the Parish Priest of the St. Teresa of Avila Anglican Parish at Brofoyedur within the Anglican Diocese of Cape Coast on Friday, 2nd April, 2021 on GBC Radio Central looking the Easter Festival as is being celebrated by Christians. 

According to him Maundy Thursday which is normally called Holy Thursday, is referred to as 'maundy' because the it originates from the Latin word 'mandatum' meaning mandates or commandments.

Holy Thursday was the night where Christ Jesus gave a commandment to his disciples that "Just as I have loved you, you should love one another" Fr. Eshun stated.

Supporting his position, he referenced from the Holy Book at St. John 13:31-35 "When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

This, the Reverend Father said, Christ portrayed that love by washing the feet of his disciples which according Fr. Domenick Eshun symbolises "Humility and service to humankind".

This particular activity is repeated annually by the Church in general as a reenactment of what happened on the night before Jesus was arrested by the Roman soldiers.

In support of the above the Anglican Reverend Father, quoted St. Catherine of Sienna "Whoever wish to follow Christ must learn to walk in the footsteps of Christ". 

He added, the church in her wisdom reminds us that as Christians, we need to imitate Christ. The washing of the feet that happened several years ago helps Christians to have a share in the passion (suffering) of Christ. 

Again, Maundy Thursday helps Christians to understand human life and human suffering in order to develop empathy and fellow feeling for one another as we journey on in life. 

It also reminds Christians about the fact that, those who want to be the greatest in the kingdom should first be servants. 

Thirdly, it reminds us that every human has been called to serve which in Latin is called 'Servus servurum Die'. This according to Anglican Father denotes "Servant among the servants of God. We are to serve God through our neighbours. So the Maundy Thursday service that Church organises is to remind the faithfuls about love and services to humanity."

Father Eshun noted that, the love that Christ showed on the Holy Thursday is "Supposed to affect all facets of the human life including the environment". To this he explained that, believers must be wise enough to know that when they cause destruction to the environment, it turns to hurt them back.

The love exhibited by Christ should affect the total behaviour of Christians and should be expressed in how they deal with everything they come into contact with. 

In addition he said, It reminds us of the humility of Christ that we need to imitate. Thus, he who was the master humbled himself as the least among the servants. 

Explaining the above, he said in the Jewish culture the feet all visitors were washed with water as a sign of acceptance into their home before a wine is offered to the visitor. 

It is like in our part of the world, we receive visitors by offering them chair to sit on before water. "So for Christ to do this to his disciples connotes that he showed a level of humility by first serving his people for which Christians must try and emulate". 

In ending the Anglican father said these are the tenets they want the Christian faithfuls to emulate and as such every year during the Easter festive season, the church reenacts these actives to remind believers about the need to "Serve humanity at the peril of their lives" he ended.