Maundy Thursday, commemorating the last day of the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ, comprises some of the most poignant services, beginning in the morning with Divine Liturgy in remembrance of the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist. Later in the day, the Washing of the Feet is conducted in the example of our Lord Who washed the feet of His disciples in the greatest show of humility and service. Finally, during the heartrending vigil service conducted in the evening, we recall the betrayal, arrest, and suffering of our Lord.
On Thursday, April 13, 2017, Divine Liturgy was celebrated in Prelacy Churches in the morning, during which faithful received Holy Communion for the first time since the start of Great Lent. In the afternoon, H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, conducted the Washing of the Feet service at St. Mary’s Church in Glendale and delivered his message. Jesus knew that the time of His suffering was drawing near, and soon He would be glorified by His victory over death. Thus, in a beautiful expression of love and brotherhood, with utmost humility He knelt before His disciples and washed their feet, by His ideal example inspiring them to a life of service to others, stated the Prelate. His Eminence emphasized that this message of love, humility, and service is a timeless one and one that we must remember daily in our interactions with our fellow man.
In the evening, the Prelate presided over the Vigil service at Holy Cross Cathedral in Montebello. With the reading of subsequent Gospel passages, candles placed before the altar were extinguished until one remained lit representing the unfading light of Christ. His Eminence focused his sermon on the important message of obedience and submitting to God’s will, with our Lord Jesus Christ as the greatest example to follow. Though He was sinless, Jesus took upon Himself extreme suffering and torture, and eventually the agony of death on the cross, in obedience to His Father. In the Garden of Gethsemane, in a moment of despair Jesus cried out to the Father to “take this cup away from Me,” but continued with, “nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” That evening He was also betrayed by Judas, but Jesus endured all that had come His way and that was to come with absolute trust and faith in the will of our heavenly Father, to offer mankind the priceless gift of remission from sin, concluded the Prelate.