Maundy Thursday: A tradition in Cochem

In Cochem it is a tradition, in the early morning of Maundy Thursday
to bless the “Männerweck”. Männerweck is a small bread or roll, that is a pastry made of yeast dough. Whether the word part “men” can be derived from the heavenly bread “manna” is unclear. Manna comes from the Hebrew meaning “what is it?” It is the surprising thing that God bestowed on the Israelites and that served as food for them on their way through the desert.

The blessing of the “Männerwecken” in Cochem has the following historical origin:
In the past, merchants brought their gifts to the local priest on Holy Thursday. It is important to know that the clergy did not receive a fixed salary, but paid for their upkeep from donations from the community. Bakers, butchers and farmers gave what was dispensable.
The priest pronounced the blessing over the food. Perishable goods or those that were donated in abundance, after the blessing, the priest gave to the needy of his parish.

Even in our modern times, the “Männerwecken” are blessed in the parish church. Because many of our residents come from Cochem, but can no longer go to the parish church – we hold a small devotion in the house and bless the “Männerwecken”. These are then distributed to the residents and staff.

Sister M. Felicitas