A Lamb for Each Household

Rend Your Hearts: Claiming the Promise

Maundy Thursday, Year B

This Maundy Thursday, we remember what Jesus did; we go back to that moment. But if we stayed in that past, if we didn’t see that this command was, as Exodus states, “a perpetual ordinance” to be observed, to be enacted with our whole lives, then we’ve missed something significant about this moment.

Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday is also about ritual action more than about words. And yet our words always frame our actions. Words help us understand our rituals. But this worship should be focused on the doing – the doing of the sacrament, but also the doing of the command to love one another. Let our words, whether in the songs or prayers or instructions, be words that help us find our way to the grace that is offered even in this most poignant of moments. Let us hear the call to service, even as we kneel beside one another to receive and to give in equal measure.

One practice many have used for this service is the receiving of Communion in groups, around a table – not as a reenactment of the Last Supper as much as a living witness to how our receiving and our serving go hand in hand. When we gather around a table together, we pass the bread, we share the cup. In this post-pandemic time, the sharing might need to be carefully orchestrated to protect one another, but some symbol of both receiving and giving could be done. Making eye contact, acknowledging one another might be the first step toward building community and learning to love another.

Opening Meditation

(Based on Exodus 12:1-14)

The calendar contains special days we all look forward to, like birthdays, Christmas, or vacations. When our special day approaches, we get excited. But excitement over a “special” day is nothing compared to the excitement of a new beginning. God told Moses and Aaron to start a new calendar, to mark time from this point forward. Tear up the old calendars, marred with memories of an ugly past. Mark a new day and a new experience with a sacrificial lamb. Mark the new era with blood-painted doorposts. Mark the day with barbeque rubbed in bitter herbs and flatbread. Eat hurriedly – anticipating that God will move at any moment. Mark this day to remember when God restarted time for you. Mark this day just as God marked you to live freely as a child of God.

Kwasi I. Kena, The Africana Worship Book for Year B, Discipleship Resources, 2007, p. 30.

Call to Worship

(inspired by John 13, 1 Corinthians 11, Exodus 12)

A table is set before us. A feast is prepared for us.
A meal of bread and wine, of meat and bitter herbs.
The Lord calls us to this supper of remembrance.
The Lord calls us to serve and to be served.
As we break the bread and share the cup,
our understanding may fail us.
But we will never forget Christ’s example.
We will never forget the full extent of his love.

Posted on the Worship Elements page of the Ministry Matters website, http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/2478/worship-elements-holy-thursday-2015

Passover Call to Worship

“Wear your traveling clothes as you eat this meal,
as though prepared for a long journey.
Wear your sandals and carry your walking sticks in your hands.
Eat the food quickly, for this is the Lord’s Passover.” Exodus 12:11

for tonight we remember
the story of Passover
where home was not
a place of safety
where the people lived in fear
and were not free

for tonight we remember
the story of Passover
where home was not
a place of safety
where at any moment
you might have to up and flee

for tonight we remember
the story of Passover
where home was not
a place of safety
quick, grab what you can carry
and go

and as we remember
we pray for those today
who have to grab what they can
and go
for those fleeing war and violence
only to arrive at closed borders

and as we remember
we pray for those today
who have to grab what they can
and go
for those making treacherous journeys
carrying children and plastic bags

and as we remember
we pray for those today
who have to grab what they can
and go
for those who are out in the cold
making their home in a city of tents

Copyright © Rev. Dr. Clare McBeath and Rev. Tim Presswood. The entire litany can be found on the Starters for Sunday website at http://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/31683/24_March_2016_Holy_Week_Thursday.pdf

Call to Worship for Maundy Thursday

We are Jesus’ disciples,
following him even as he moves toward the cross.
Even as he wraps a towel around his waist.
Even as he kneels to wash the filth from the feet of his friends.

We are Jesus’ disciples,
longing to be faithful even as the night grows dark.
Even as betrayers loom.
Even as the powers that oppose the way of Christ press in around us.

We are Jesus’ disciples,
struggling to love others even as Jesus loved us.
We are Jesus’ disciples,
gathered here to worship God:
Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. Amen.

Posted on Joanna Harader on her Spacious Faith blog, http://spaciousfaith.com/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/02/maundy-thursday-call-to-worship.html

Call to Prayer

Remember Me
(Based on John 13:1-17, 31b-35)

Remember me – words that plead for our attention. Remember me. Think about me. Care about me. Don’t forget me. Let me know that my life has meaning. God also says remember me. Remember The Passover when God spared the faithful huddled behind bloodstained doors. Remember that God hears our every cry and pities every groan. Remember that Jesus led by serving others, even if it meant washing dirty feet. Remember that on the night that he was betrayed Jesus gave thanks, broke bread, and said, “Eat, this is my body, do this in remembrance of me.” And he poured a cup, a new covenant paid for with his blood. He said drink it in remembrance of me. We come today to remember. Remember what God has done, what God is doing and what God promised to do. Tonight, we set aside sacred time to remember God too and ask God to remember us.

Silent prayer as musician plays “Jesus Remember Me,” UMH #488 or “Remember Me,” UMH #491. Close the prayer time by singing the words to the chosen song.

Kwasi I. Kena, The Africana Worship Book for Year B, Discipleship Resources, 2007, p. 136.

Footwashing Prayer

O Jesus, my feet are dirty.
Come even as a slave to me,
pour water into your bowl,
come and wash my feet.
In asking such a thing I know I am overbold
but I dread what was threatened when you said to me,
“If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.”
Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.
And yet, what am I asking?
It was well for Peter to ask you to wash his feet,
for him that was all that was needed for him to be clean in every part.
With me it is different:
though you wash me now I shall still stand in need of that other washing,
the cleansing you promised when you said,
“there is a baptism I must needs be baptized with.”

Origen c. 185-c. 254 Posted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/02/footwashing-prayer-origen.html

Maundy Thursday Prayer

(based on John 13:1-17, 31-35)

Holy God, source and sovereign,
you put all power and authority into the hands of Christ—
Christ, who washes our feet in humble service.
Teach us to love one another as Christ has loved us,
so that everyone will know that we are his disciples;
through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray.

From the Presbyterian Church USA website, https://www.pcusa.org/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/prayer-for-maundy-thursday.html

Prayer for Maundy Thursday

(inspired by John 13:1-17)

Merciful Savior,
We have traveled this long, dusty Lenten journey.
Our feet are tired, dirty, aching, and calloused.
You have shown us Your love
by becoming a humble servant.
Humble us when we try to travel without You.
As Christ has washed us,
so let us wash one another.
Humble us when we believe some work is below us.
As Christ has washed us,
so let us wash one another.

Humble us when we are too proud
to accept help, or care, or love.
As Christ has washed us,
so let us wash one another.
Humble us when we do not fully receive
the gift of Your amazing and bountiful grace.
As Christ has washed us,
so let us wash one another. Amen.

Written by Karen Turner and posted on the Lifeway website, http://www.lifeway.com/lwc/files/lwcF_PDF_LW_MaundyThursday.pdf. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2016/03/maundy-thursday-as-christ-has-washed-us.html

Prayer of Confession

(based on John 13:34-35)

God's love for the world has been revealed in Jesus Christ, who certainly loved us to the uttermost; Jesus—Savior and Lord—who at his last meal with his disciples gave them—and us—that new commandment: “…love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Merciful God,
we confess that so often our discipleship has been weak ...
when we have failed to serve as Jesus served;
forgive us.

When we have failed to love one another as Jesus loves us;
forgive us.

When we have been happy to proclaim our devotion to Jesus with
our lips and then denied him by our actions;
forgive us.

Merciful God, empower us by your Spirit to be steady and true
to you in every time of trial; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Assurance of Forgiveness

(based on John 12:47; 13:1)

Jesus said: "I came not to judge the world, but to save the world"
and "having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end"

The good news therefore is this: In Jesus Christ, we are loved and we are forgiven.
Thanks be to God!

Written by Moira Laidlaw and posted on the Liturgies Online website. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/02/prayer-of-confession-maundy-thursday.html

Closing Commission

(based on John 13: 31-35)

Christ has given us a new commandment:
that we love one another, as Christ has loved us.
By this, everyone will know that we are Christ’s disciples,
if we share that love with the world.
And through this love, all things will be made new.
Go now, and do as Christ commands. Amen.

From Making All Things New: Service Prayers for the Fifth Sunday of Easter, written by the Rev. Mary Nelson Abbott. Posted on the United Church of Christ’s Worship Ways Archive, http://www.ucc.org/worship/worship-ways/. Reposted: https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2013/04/sending-words-john-13-31-35.html


Low Enough to Wash Dirty Feet

As you depart, remember Jesus Christ, who bent down low enough to wash dirty feet and gave his disciples a new commandment to love one another. May all glory, honor and dominion be his in this world and in our lives, now and forever.

Kwasi I. Kena, The Africana Worship Book for Year B, Discipleship Resources, 2007, p. 215.

In This Series...

Ash Wednesday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes First Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Palm/Passion Sunday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Maundy Thursday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes Good Friday, Year B – Lectionary Planning Notes