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Maundy Thursday is part of the Triduum, or three holy days before Easter. It comes from the Latin mandatum novum, “new commandment,” from Jn 13:34. The ceremony of washing feet was also referred to as  "the Maundy." The Maundy Thursday service also commemorates the institution of the eucharist by Jesus "on the night he was betrayed." Following the service, the altar is stripped and all decorative furnishings are removed from the church. The stripped altar symbolizes the abandonment of Jesus by his disciples and the stripping of Jesus by the soldiers before his crucifixion.