Holy Thursday

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the Thursday in Holy Week; Maundy Thursday.
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Origin of Holy Thursday

1150–1200; Middle English; Old English
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Holy Thursday?

Holy Thursday is the day on which Christians commemorate Jesus’s Last Supper. It’s the day before Good Friday, which marks Jesus’s crucifixion and death.

Holy Thursday is the Thursday of Holy Week, which is the week before Easter, from Palm Sunday to Holy Saturday. On Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

In the U.K. and some other places, Holy Thursday is called Maundy Thursday.

Holy Thursday is also sometimes used as another name for Ascension Day, the 40th day after Easter, but this is much less common.

When is Holy Thursday?

In 2023, Holy Thursday falls on April 6. In 2024, it falls on March 28.

Holy Thursday is always the Thursday before Easter, but Easter moves every year. This means that Holy Thursday can fall anytime between March 19 and April 22.

In the Orthodox Church, the date of Easter is calculated in a different way.

In 2023, the Orthodox Church will observe Holy Thursday on April 13. In 2024, the Orthodox Church will observe Holy Thursday on May 2.

When Holy Thursday refers to Ascension Day, it’s the 40th day after Easter. In 2023 Ascension Day is on May 18. In 2024, Ascension Day is on May 9. In the Orthodox Church, Ascension Day falls on May 25 in 2023 and on June 13 in 2024.

More information and context on Holy Thursday

The first records of the term Holy Thursday come from the 1100s.

The Holy Thursday of Holy Week commemorates the Last Supper, which is the basis of the Christian ritual variously celebrated as Communion or Eucharist. According to biblical accounts of the Last Supper, it was also when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples.

The Maundy in Maundy Thursday comes from the Latin mandātum, meaning “command” or “mandate,” a reference to the “new commandment” that Jesus gave to his disciples after washing their feet: “Love one another, as I have loved you.”

Because Ascension Day always occurs on a Thursday (the 40th day after Easter), it is also sometimes called Holy Thursday. Christians observe Ascension Day as the day that they believe Jesus ascended into heaven.

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Holy Thursday?

How is Holy Thursday discussed in real life?

Holy Thursday is especially associated with the Last Supper.



Try using Holy Thursday!

True or False?

The name Holy Thursday can refer to two different days.

How to use Holy Thursday in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday

noun RC Church
another name for Maundy Thursday
a rare name for Ascension Day
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012