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Maundy Thursday in United States

Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, is a Christian observance in the United States. It is the day before Good Friday and takes place during Holy Week. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s last supper and the initiation of Holy Communion (the Eucharist), observed in many Christian churches.

Chalice and bread
Maundy Thursday church services include the rite of Communion.
Maundy Thursday church services include the rite of Communion.
©iStockphoto.com/Wojtek Kryczka

What Do People Do?

Many Holy Thursday services, particularly in the Catholic churches, are held in the evenings and offer Communion (or Eucharist) to the congregation. Some priests or ministers wash parishioners’ feet in memory of the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. Holy oils are blessed to symbolize that the sacraments have their source in Jesus Christ, according to Christian belief. Hymns such as the Pange Lingua, Gloria, or Ubi Caritas, are usually sung in some church services during this time of the year.

Some churches offer a pot luck supper for congregation members after the Holy Thursday service. If donations are collected from the suppers, they usually go towards charitable causes. Holy Thursday serves as a time for some Christians to donate money to the poor.  Some people also prepare a meal that includes roast lamb, bitter herbs and wine around this time of the year.

Public Life

Maundy Thursday is not a public holiday in the United States so schools, government offices and businesses are open. Public transport providers run to their usual schedules.


Holy Thursday, or Maundy Thursday, commemorates the institution of the Eucharist, a Christian sacrament that involves consecrating (or making holy) bread and wine. The term “Maundy” derives from the Latin word for “commandment”. The New Testament in the bible describes events that took place on Holy Thursday. These events include Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and the Last Supper before he was arrested. Many Maundy Thursday church traditions come from practices that took place in Europe for many centuries.

About Maundy Thursday in other countries

Read more about Maundy Thursday.

Maundy Thursday Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
ThuApr 12010Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 212011Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 52012Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuMar 282013Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 172014Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 22015Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuMar 242016Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 132017Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuMar 292018Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 182019Maundy ThursdayChristian 
ThuApr 92020Maundy ThursdayChristian 

Quick Facts

Maundy Thursday, which is also known as Holy Thursday, is the day before Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maundy Thursday 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016


Name in other languages

Maundy ThursdayEnglish
Jueves SantoSpanish
יום חמישי הקדושHebrew
خميس الأسرارArabic

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in April 2016 in United States

United Nation Holiday on April 2, 2016

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