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Maundy Thursday in Canada

Maundy Thursday is a Christian observance in Canada. The day, also known as Holy Thursday, occurs during Holy Week and falls on the Thursday before Good Friday. It commemorates Jesus Christ’s last supper and the initiation of the Eucharist, which is observed in many Christian churches.

Is Maundy Thursday a Public Holiday?

Maundy Thursday is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Chalice and bread
Many churches offer Communion during Maundy Thursday church services.
Many churches offer Communion during Maundy Thursday church services.
©iStockphoto.com/Wojtek Kryczka

What Do People Do?

Many Christians in Canada attend Maundy Thursday church services, which are often held in the evenings. Services on this day usually reflect on the story of the Last Supper, which is told in the Christian bible. Communion is offered to the congregation, prayers are made and oils are blessed. Some churches no longer allow dipping bread into wine (intinction).

Some priests or ministers wash parishioners’ feet in memory of the story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet. It is also common practice for altars to be stripped bare on Maundy Thursday. Some churches offer a light supper for congregation members after the Maundy Thursday service, where donations for the meals are used for charitable causes. It is also a time for some Christians to donate money to the poor.

Maundy Thursday is also a time for many people who plan on going away for the Easter long weekend, which begins on Good Friday, to prepare for their trip. Many Canadians use the Easter Long weekend for getaway trips to places such as holiday cabins or resorts.

Public Life

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

Background

Maundy Thursday is traditionally known as the Thursday of the Lord’s Supper to commemorate the institution of the Eucharist, a Christian sacrament that involves consecrating (or making holy) bread and wine. It is also known as Holy Communion. Many of the 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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010ThuApr 1Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2011ThuApr 21Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2012ThuApr 5Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2013ThuMar 28Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2014ThuApr 17Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2015ThuApr 2Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2016ThuMar 24Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2017ThuApr 13Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2018ThuMar 29Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2019ThuApr 18Maundy ThursdayChristian 
2020ThuApr 9Maundy ThursdayChristian 

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