Armenian Feasts


Today is Holy Thursday, also called Maundy Thursday. Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum meaning “command.” Holy Thursday commemorates several events including the Last Supper as described in the wGospels, and the Washing of the Feet (Vodunlva) that occurred when the disciples argued about which of them would be the greatest. Witnessing this sad behavior of his disciples, Jesus displayed a living example of “greatness,” by washing the feet of his disciples, showing true humility. The Great Thursday vigil flows into Great (or Good) Friday, with the Tenebrae (darkness) service where Jesus is arrested, tortured and sentenced. The Tenebrae service takes place with only 12 candles (representing the disciples), of which one, symbolizing Judas, is not lighted up, and one large candle, representing Jesus. During the service, which includes some of the most beautiful hymns ever written, the candles are extinguished gradually, leaving only the one large candle —the Light of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior.