With the coronavirus outbreak keeping everyone in their homes, this year's Holy Week has taken on a special significance to many El Pasoans who are practicing Catholics. Even those of us who regularly go to Mass don't know what the Holy Days of Easter week are all about. Today is Maundy Thursday and here is what it means and how it is often observed:

1. Why is it called Maundy Thursday - Maundy means commandment, and during the Last Supper that was held on this day of Holy Week, Christ gave his disciples the commandment to "love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another," John 13:34.

2. Why does the Pope wash people's feet - Maundy Thursday is also the day that Christ washed the feet of his disciples to show his humility and service to mankind. It was also done to show us that we should also be willing to help our fellow man, no matter his or her station in life. Pope Francis has, in the past but not this year for obvious reasons, washed the feet of prisoners to show that he is in service to all mankind even though he is the Pope.

City and County of El Paso officials just announced the first death due to the coronavirus on Thursday afternoon. No matter what your faith or whether you practice, maybe today we can all set aside a moment to pray for the gentleman who passed away and his family who will be grieving his loss.

If you want to watch Holy Week observances, the Diocese of El Paso will be televising Masses and the Easter Vigil. You can get that information here.

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