Udupi: Christians in the district observed Maundy Thursday to commemorate the institution of the Holy Eucharist by Jesus Christ with church services in the evening.
It was at the Last Supper while celebrating the Passover festival with his disciples that Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist. Jesus also washed and kissed the feet of his disciples as an act of humility. Catholic churches also commemorated this act with the chief celebrant of the Maundy Thursday mass washing the feet of 12 lay persons. At the Milagres Cathedral Kallianpur, the Bishop of Udupi Diocese Rev Dr. Gerald Isaac Lobo performed the ritual.
The faithful take the washing of the feet ritual as a message of Christ’s humility and service. Maundy Thursday also symbolizes Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. To commemorate this agony, night vigils are held in Catholic churches and the vigils usually go on till the commencement of the Good Friday services in the evening the next day.
Maundy Thursday is followed by Good Friday, the day on which the crucifixion and death of Christ is commemorated. The Way of the Cross to commemorate the Passion of Christ is one of the most important rituals of the Good Friday ceremonies at Catholic churches.
The ‘washing of feet’ ceremony was also held at various churches like Shirva, Udupi, Belman, Sasthan, Brahamvar, Kundapur, Basrur and other places with amidst the special service.