Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
This Sunday, the non-Orthodox Christian communities celebrate Palm Sunday; in churches all over the world, celebrants will sing songs of 'hosannah' and will receive the gift of a fold palm frond, in the shape of a cross. Other Festivals this week will be Pesach (Jewish passover) and Sri Hanuman Jayanti, birthday of the monkey god for Hindus.
This commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. During the meal Jesus took bread and wine and shared them with his disciples. He instructed them to remember Him this way, Wine as blood, bread as body. The Last Supper was probably a Passover meal – the meal which Jewish people share together to celebrate the time when God delivered Moses and the people from slavery in Egypt.
The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Maundy Thursday is the day before Good Friday. It is one of the lesser known days of the Christian calendar. The name 'Maundy' is derived from the Latin word “mandatum”, meaning a commandment. Jesus Christ, at the Last Supper, said: 'And now I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have Loved you, in this way you must Love one another.' John 13:34
During the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples' feet. This act has sometimes been followed literally in history as a good way of reminding rulers that they are here to serve their subjects. In England, the custom of washing feet by the Monarch was carried out until 1689. Up until then the King or Queen would wash the feet of the poor on Maundy Thursday in Westminster Abbey. (You should, however, note that the feet were first washed by Yeoman of the Laundry before the monarch had to wash them and kiss them!). Food and clothing were also handed out to the poor.
In Britain today, the Queen hands out Maundy Money to a group of pensioners. The tradition of the Sovereign giving money to the poor dates from the 13th century, from the reign of Edward I. At one time recipients were required to be of the same sex as the Sovereign, but since the eighteenth century they have numbered as many men and women as the Sovereign has years of age.
Every year on this day, the Queen attends a Royal Maundy service in one of the many cathedrals throughout the country. 'Maundy money' is distributed to male and female pensioners from local communities near the Cathedral where the Service takes place.