April 9, 2020 Maundy Thursday
If possible, we suggest the Maundy Thursday service occur at the time of the evening meal. To fully participate, the table setting should include a candle, medium size bowl of water, hand towel, as well as the communion elements of grape juice/red wine and a portion of bread. If available, a cross would add significance to the event.
Prior to the Meal
As we gather on this holy night to share this food prepared before us, remind us of our teacher and Lord, who knelt down to wash his followers' feet, showing us how to love and serve one another. May we recall the evening when Christ, the bread of heaven, shared a holy meal with his followers, offering a feast of abundant life and grace for all. Through the mercies of Christ Jesus we pray. Amen.
Following the Meal
CALL TO WORSHIP
HYMN NO. 202 An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare O WALY WALY
CONFESSION AND ASSURANCE OF GOD'S GRACE
CALL TO CONFESSION
Creator and loving God, you kneel to wash our feet, yet we are reluctant for you to see the wounds and scrapes of all the places we have run in our attempts to escape you.
You would bathe us in the warm, living waters of your love, yet we splash and play in the puddles of temptation. We have received all the gifts you have to offer, yet are tempted to think they are only for us rather than for sharing. Forgive us, Holy One, and have mercy on us. God, what can we give you for all your wonderful graciousness towards us?
ASSURANCE OF PARDON
On this holiest of nights, we have received the Good News:
God has come in Christ Jesus to fill us with hope and peace, to bathe us in grace and mercy. In remembrance, we go forth: to bring hope where despair has taken up residence; to be servants to those who are broken; to love as selflessly as we are loved by Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION
Eternal God, by your Word and Spirit, you have given us a new commandment: To love and serve one another in Jesus' name. Let the good news of your liberating love be sealed in our hearts and shown in our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SCRIPTURE Exodus 12:1–14 (NRSV); John 13:1–17 (NRSV)
12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the Land of Egypt: 2This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat it. 5Your lamb shall be without a blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 14This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
13 Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from the world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" 7Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 8Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me." 9Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" 10Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you." 11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are clean." 12After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?" 13You call me Teacher and Lord — and you are right, for that is what I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
HYMN NO. 761 Called as Partners in Christ's Service BEECHER
During the hymn and in remembrance, you may wash your own or one another's hands in the bowl of water and then dry them with the hand towel.
Gracious God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon us and upon these your gifts of bread and wine, that the bread we break and the cup we bless may be the communion of the body and blood of Christ. By your Spirit make us one with Christ, that we may be one with all who share this feast, united in ministry in every place.
In union with your church in heaven and on earth, we pray, O God, that you will fulfill your eternal purpose in us and in all the world. Keep us faithful in your service until Christ comes in final victory, and we shall feast with all your saints in the joy of your eternal realm. Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ, we pray these words:
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven; Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
BREAKING THE BREAD
The Lord Jesus, on the night of his arrest, took bread, and after giving thanks to God, he broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, eat. This is my body, given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.
Break a piece or loaf of bread in half
Pouring the cup In the same way he took the cup, saying: This cup is the new covenant sealed in my blood, shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this in remembrance of me.
Pour the juice into a cup
Every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the saving death of the risen Lord, until he comes.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE ELEMENTS
The body of Christ, the bread of heaven.
Eat the bread
The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.
Drink the cup
PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION
We give you thanks and praise, O God, that even in the darkness of this night, your light shines. We rejoice that we have shared with Christ around this table, and we pray for his strength as we continue to be his body in this world.
CLOSING WORDS Mark 14:32–34 (The Message)
They came to an area called Gethsemane. Jesus told his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James, and John with him. He plunged into a sinkhole of dreadful agony. He told them, "I feel bad enough right now to die. Stay here and keep vigil with me."
CHORAL BENEDICTION Were You There? TRADITIONAL
Katelyn Tackett, Soloist
Thank you to those who participated in the creation of this worship service: