Maundy Thursday and the Holy Triduum

Here is a column that I wrote for the Deseret News last year regarding Maundy Thursday (today), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter — the culmination of Passion Week.  The last three days are sometimes called “the Holy Triduum” or “the Three Holy Days” in Christian tradition.

Thursday was the day of the so-called Last Supper.

It was a Passover seder, a ritual meal commemorating the deliverance of Moses and the Children of Israel from bondage in Egypt.

Jews still celebrate Passover, and I myself have conducted a number of Passover seders for Latter-day Saints.  (On Tuesday night, though it wasn’t a fully-fledged seder, I demonstrated the basics of such a meal and service for about eighty people, mostly from our ward, and I’m slated to do an actual seder in a few weeks elsewhere.)  The symbolism of the seder, and the echoes of the Exodus story — bondage, divine liberation, etc. — prefigure the Atonement of Christ brilliantly and memorably.  And, of course, our sacrament (along with Christian communion generally) derives from that ancient Passover meal.

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