KERALA

Maundy Thursday observed in city churches

TRADITION OF HUMILITY: The Metropolitan of the Kollam diocese of the Jacobite church, Mathews Mor Thevodosios, leading the `washing of feet' ceremony as part of the Maundy Thursday observance at the St. Peter's Jacobite Syrian Orthodox `Simhasana' Ca thedral in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar.  

Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Christians on Thursday re-affirmed their faith in the Eucharist or Holy Communion, the sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, instituted by Jesus Christ more than 2,000 years ago.

Several churches across the city observed `Maundy Thursday' with the symbolic `washing of feet' ceremony, procession, holy mass and homily.

Archbishop of Latin Catholic Diocese M. Susaipakiam, who led the proceedings at St. Joseph's Cathedral, Palayam, washed and kissed the feet of the 12 selected parishioners symbolically re-enacting the day of the Last Supper when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, as an act of humility and service and established the ceremony known as the Eucharist.

The night of `Maundy' Thursday also marks the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the garden of Gethsemane. At the end of the holy mass, the Eucharist was taken out in procession to a separate altar signifying the persecution and suffering of Christ.

The altars too were stripped indicating Jesus moving to the garden of Gethsemane after celebrating the Passover feast.

At the Pattom St. Marys Cathedral, the two-and-a-half-hour proceedings were led by Baselios Cleemis, the Major Archbishop and Catholicos of the Syro-Malankara Church (Malankara Catholic Church) before a large gathering of the faithful.

The symbolic `washing of the feet' ceremony was followed by a holy mass and sharing of the Passover bread by the worshippers.

Day's significance

According to the church authorities, `Maundy' Thursday refers to the command Jesus gave to the disciples during the Last Supper that they should love and serve one another.