The Royal Maundy Thursday Service

I am grateful to Very Rev Professor David Fergusson Dean of the Chapel Royal for these words about Royal Maundy.

‘Royal Maundy is a service held in the Church of England each year on Maundy Thursday. This is a longstanding tradition which can be traced back to 600 AD. During the service, the monarch distributes money to a group of senior citizens who are honoured for their lifelong service to the church and the community. Recipients gather from around the country, and in recent years these have included people from different churches throughout Scotland. The Maundy money is presented in red and white leather purses, the amount of money and the number of recipients being traditionally determined by the age of the monarch. 

(One purse contains a small amount of ordinary coinage which symbolises the Sovereign's gift for food and clothing. The second purse contains Maundy coins up to the value of the Sovereign's age. The coins are legal tender but recipients normally prefer to retain them as a keepsake.) 

Regrettably, the Maundy Service for 2020, which was to have been held in St George’s Chapel in Windsor, was cancelled owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, during Holy Week recipients received their Maundy money by post together with a letter from Her Majesty the Queen. Further details can be found on the Royal website.’

For some in our Presbytery area, the cancellation is of particular significance as they were due to be in Windsor at the Maundy service to be recognised for the work they have done in church and community over the years. We are sad and disappointed for them as they miss this special occasion, but also want to celebrate with them that they are worthy recipients of this honour, and that on a day when we remember Jesus washing the feet of the disciples we give thanks for their example of loving service and faithful commitment. Whether visiting parishioners, tackling isolation, showing hospitality, offering skills and wisdom, living out good news throughout the area, our Maundy Thursday recipients have demonstrated the love Jesus called us all to share. 

We celebrate with Doreen Reekie and David Calder, elders of Morningside Parish Church, Nan Rennie DCS, and James Byers our Presbytery Treasurer.

They have kindly provided photos of themselves and Jim Byers has sent a photo of the Maundy money and letter from Her Majesty the Queen.  I am sure you all join with me in congratulating them and in gratitude for their work and witness.

Marjory McPherson

Presbytery Clerk