On 20 January, it was announced that Her Majesty the Queen will be visiting the Cathedral to celebrate the Royal Maundy on Maundy Thursday 2 April.
The Royal Maundy is the annual commemoration by the Monarch of the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus. During the service, the Queen will distribute specially minted Maundy money to 178 recipients aged over 70 (89 men and 89 women) —a man and a woman for each year of her life.
Each recipient will receive two gifts of money, one of which is £0.89 in the coins in a small leather pouch. This includes a 3 pence piece—which is legal tender!
What It Means
The service takes its name from “mandatum,” a Latin word meaning “a commandment,” and its opening words are from John 13.34 - Jesus said, ‘I give you a new commandment’. The service includes the famous anthem by Handel which is also sung at coronations, Zadok the Priest.
The Queen herself has approved the names of those who will be honoured by receiving the Maundy money, aided by an independent local committee of Deputy Lord Lieutenants. The recipients will be chosen because of their Christian service of the community and the Church. We understand that the Queen particularly values this service as it is a precious opportunity for her to mark explicitly the part that Christians play in our community life.
Nominations have been received from throughout the Diocese, from Area Deans, Canons and our ecumenical brothers and sisters. We received many, many more nominations than the 178 required, and a group of Deputy Lord Lieutenants carefully reviewed them all, and chose names to represent as far as possible almost every community in the Diocese. All who took part in this exercise have said how moving it is to discover how Christians have been at the heart of community service throughout South Yorkshire, sustaining our common life as part of our Christian vocation.
The Royal Maundy will be a true thanksgiving for the service of these 178 Christians and the whole Diocese. We know that we are all called to be salt and light. How good it is to give thanks to God for those who are serving our communities in Christ’s name!