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Blackburn to host Royal Maundy service: The Church of England Newspaper, April 6, 2014 April 11, 2014

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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Blackburn Cathedral will be the site of this year’s Royal Maundy Service on 17 April 2014.

The Queen will present “Maundy money,” specially minted silver coins to pensioners who have made a “significant contribution” to Church or civic life. The number of recipients is by tradition set by the age of the monarch-88 men and 88 women will receive the coins from the Queen, who celebrates her 88th birthday this year.

This year’s recipients will come from Lancashire. The Dean of Blackburn, the Very Rev. Christopher Armstrong said welcoming the Queen was “a huge privilege as well as a great responsibility. I am sure the visit will be a wonderful experience for all involved.”

The Rt. Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, who was appointed in October, added: “It will be wonderful in my first year in the diocese to be able to welcome Her Majesty to the cathedral. Normally people visit Her Majesty to receive honours, so it is symbolic this is the only occasion the Queen travels to make an award.”

The distribution of alms on Maundy Thursday has its origin in Jesus’ washing of the disciples’ feet.  Beginning in the 13th century, the Sovereign would give alms of money, food and clothing to the poor and wash their feet.  James II, who was the last monarch to exercise the traditional gift of healing touch of the king, was also the last monarch to wash the feet of the recipients.

Beginning in the 13th century the ceremony was traditionally been held at Westminster Abbey.  The Queen changed this practice and services are now held at cathedrals across England—in 1982 the Church in Wales played host at St David’s Cathedral in Dyfed and in 2008 the Church of Ireland’s St Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh hosted the ceremony.

The word “Maundy” is derived from the first antiphon traditionally sung at the ceremony: “Mandatum novum do vobis”: ‘A new commandment give I unto you.’ John 13.34.

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