I absolutely agree with hm. The term Spy Wednesday is all but completely unknown in the United States. I am 56 years old and a practicing Catholic (including 4 years in a seminary) and never heard the term before this year. I saw it for the first time in my life this week in a blog, where the writer is specifically lamenting the loss of the traditional names for the days of Holy Week.
Here is the link: http://cantuar.blogspot.com/2012/04/tradition...
Here is the entire blog post: It's lamentable that we (at least in America) have lost the traditional names for Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday in Holy Week. Let's bring them back into usage. They are as follows:
Palm Sunday - The name is obvious.
Fig Monday - The day on which Christ cursed the fig tree. Sometimes, people ate dried figs on this day to commemorate the miracle.
Spy Wednesday - The day on which Judas Iscariot met with the Jewish priests and made plans for the betrayal, hence the name "spy."
Maundy Thursday - This one comes from the Latin Vulgate version of John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” In Latin, the verse begins with Mandatum novum do vobis. The word "maundy" is a corruption of "mandatum" meaning commandment.
Good Friday - Here "good" hearkens back to Middle English in which the word denotes piety or holiness.
Holy Saturday - A quiet day, the perfect Sabbath of Christ in which He descended into the limbo of Hell and delivered the saints of the Old Testament.
The terms that are in general usage among U.S. Catholics are Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter.
Maundy Thursday is sometimes used in the United States, although I associate this term with Episcopalian (i.e. Anglican) and to some extent general Protestant usage, not Roman Catholic. But perhaps Catholics use the term in the United Kingdom and Ireland.