Wednesday, April 1, 2015


"After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."  (John 13:5)

On this Holy Week, I find myself thinking of some of the subtle difference between Catholics and Protestants. When you've spent time in each "camp" during your lifetime, it does give you an interesting perspective about some spiritual matters. For one thing, did you know Catholics and Protestants memorize slightly different versions of The Ten Commandments? Catholics have two "Thou Shalt Not Covet..." commandments, but no "Thou Shalt Not Make a Graven Image" commandment. ...Another difference is found on Holy Week. Tomorrow is "Holy Thursday" for Catholics and "Maundy Thursday" for Protestants. The Assemblies of God is not very "liturgical" so even in Bible College I never learned why it's called "Maundy Thursday" and what that means. Some years ago, I did a little research on the subject and learned that "Maundy" comes from the word "mandatum" or "commandment" (wow there's that word "commandment" again!). On that Thursday, Jesus humbled himself and washed his disciples' feet. This role was done by lowly servants, and it meant you came into contact with all kinds of disgusting stuff on people's feet! That night, Jesus told his disciples that they should all wash one another's feet. (That's found in John ch.13.) He also told them he was giving his disciples "A new commandment" to love one another. Catholics, using the term "Holy Thursday", tend to remember Jesus' suffering in Gethsemane and the significance of the Last Supper. Protestants do remember those events but choose to focus on the foot washing and the new commandment to love one another; thus calling it "Maundy Thursday".  Just thought I'd share that today!

1 comment:

Bob Baril said...

As a clarification: My posting is absolutely not meant to be divisive. It's actually meant to be educational. All of the aspects of that sacred Thursday night are important and worthy of meditation and of challenging us to practical application. And, all of the emphases of the various branches of Christianity, from the most liturgical and formal services to the most loud and emotional revival meetings; from emphasis on solitude and quiet and on exuberant praise; from emphasis on ministry as a GROUP (The Body of Christ) and the role of the individual are important and must not be marginalized nor neglected.