KERALA

Maundy Thursday observed

KOTTAYAM, MARCH 24. Christians today celebrated Maundy Thursday reminiscent of the Passover (Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples). The day was of special significance to the members of the Catholic rites, who are celebrating the Year of Eucharist.

One of the highlights of the ceremonial ritual was the washing of the feet by priests and Bishops. The ceremony is a reminder of the act of Jesus Christ, who washed the feet of his disciples, signifying the importance of humility in their life and acts. The special prayers at the Metropolitan Church at Changanassery were led by Archbishop Joseph Powathil, who also led the Washing of Feet ceremony. Bishop Kunnassery led the prayers at Christ the King Cathedral in Kottayam while Bishop Mathews Mar Savarios led the prayers at St John's Church, Kooroppada.

Good Friday

This year's Good Friday is of special importance to the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church and the Jacobite Church as the Feast of Annunciation too falls on the same day. Normally, the prayers on Good Friday do not start with the Holy Mass. However, on account of the Feast of Annunciation, the third important Feast for Eastern Churches, the Holy Mass will be celebrated before the commencement of the special prayers of the Passion.

According to Bishop Thomas Mar Athanasius, secretary of the Synod of the Malankara Orthodox Church, the last time this took place was in 1950. This happens because, while the Feast of Annunciation is celebrated on a fixed date (March 25), the date of Good Friday changes year to year. The two Feasts would fall on the same date in 2016, next, he said.

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