GREAT THURSDAY

Church Feasts and Memorial Days

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GREAT THURSDAY
CHURCH FEASTS AND MEMORIAL DAYS / article



Great Thursday occupies a special place among the days of Holy Week. On this day the Church remembers the last Supper on which Jesus Christ established the sacrament of the Eucharist and made the feet washing of the disciples.

There were various ablutions in the Jewish tradition before the participation in different ceremonies. In this story, Jesus and his disciples participated in the Holy meal of the Passover. According to the ritual, everyone had to wash their body before the meal. When the disciples of the sacred table reached the place, their feet were defied. Therefore, the servants who did not participate in the meal, washed the guests' feet. When Jesus approached Peter to wash his feet in the disguise of a half-naked slave (as he took off his outer clothing) Peter refused the service of his teacher, considering unacceptable to let Him wash his feet, humiliating the Teacher to the level of a slave. But Jesus deliberately took the position of the servant.

When Peter tried to refuse His service Jesus said "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me". The fundamental idea of the Christian teaching, to be the servant of your fellowmen despite your position in society, is shown in this episode.

In Saint Martyr Mar Shemmon Bar Sabbae Assyrian-Chaldean Catholic Church in Tbilisi the feet washing ceremony is being performed for over 24 years. The participants of this rite were different age parishioners of our Church. After the ceremony of feet washing, which takes place before the Eucharistic Liturgy, the priest touches the feet of the participants of the ritual with his lips, thereby blessing them to God's work, as the leg stepping on the ground is a symbol of meekness, modesty and willingness to serve others.



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