Week 19: Maundy Thursday

Knowing that his time to die had finally come – for him to leave the world and return to the Father’s throne – Jesus knew his death and resurrection were close by. At the Passover evening meal gathering, Jesus knew at that moment that the Father had given all things to him, that he had come from God and would return to God. At this time, he arose from supper, laid aside his outer garments, took a towel, and tied it around his waist. He poured water into a basin and started to wash his disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel wrapped around him. This would serve as a model of care and humility that every disciple should show others. A new command was given: to love each other as Jesus himself had loved them. This love demonstrated authentic spiritual rebirth, and would be a sign that a person truly knew God as Lord. Love for one another is now the commandment of Christ to his own.

Invocation: Our Prayer of Acclamation

Almighty and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

~ United States Prayer Book. John Wallace Suter, Jr. Ed. The Book of English Collects. New York, NY: Harper, 1940. p. 16.

Call to Worship
Blessed are you, O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And blessed is your Kingdom, both now and forever, amen.

Te Deum Laudamus 
You are God: we praise you; you are the Lord; we acclaim you; you are the eternal Father: All creation worships you. To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise: Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. The white-robed army of martyrs praise you. Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you; Father, of majesty unbounded, your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory, the eternal Son of the Father. When you became man to set us free you did not shun the Virgin’s womb. You overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. We believe that you will come and be our judge. Come then, Lord, and help your people, bought with the price of your own blood, and bring us with your saints to glory everlasting.

Praise and Thanksgiving (songs and prayers)

Gloria Patri
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen, amen.

Chronological Holy Week Readings

Because the current church year has 53 weeks instead of the usual 52, we will focus on the chronological Holy Week readings this week, and resume the chronological Bible readings next week.

Maundy Thursday: Matt. 26.17-75; Mark 14.12-42; Luke 22.7-65; John 13.1-18.27

Lectionary Readings for the Day
Psalm: Ps. 116.1-2, 12-19
OT: Exod. 12.1-14
Gospel: John 13.1-17, 31-35
NT: 1 Cor. 11.23-26

(Click here for all readings)

Reflection: Silence and/or Journaling

The Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell; the third day he arose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven and sits on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic* church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

*In the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the term catholic refers to the Church’s universality, through all ages and times, of all languages and peoples. It refers to no particular tradition or denominational expression (e.g., as in Roman Catholic).

Prayers of Confession
Let us now confess our sins to God and receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need.

Assurance of Pardon
Having faithfully confessed and renounced your sin, Christ also has been faithful to forgive your sins and to purify you from all unrighteousness. It is certain, that there is One who has spoken to the Father in your defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One who is the atoning sacrifice for our sins and for the sins of the whole world. His grace and peace are with you now. Amen.

Petitions and Supplications, Ending with The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in 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, for ever. Amen.

~ Matthew 6.9-13 (KJV)

Doxology (and/or closing song)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.


O Lord, from whom all good things do come, grant to us, your humble servants, that by your holy inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by your merciful guiding may perform the same, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ The Gelasian Sacramentary. Selina Fitzherbert Fox. A Chain of Prayer Across the Ages: Forty Centuries of Prayer from 20000 B.C.-A.D. 1916. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1943. p. 68.

Pray without Ceasing – Flash Prayer for the Day
Teach us today to love one another with the love of the Lord.

What do we mean when we use the word? Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.) defines worship as “reverence offered a divine being” as well as the “act of expressing such reverence.” So, we are to show God reverence. But how? What acts demonstrate reverence for God? Does the Bible offer guidance? In Scripture, the Hebrew word for worship is shachah, meaning “to kneel, stoop, prostrate oneself, or throw oneself down, in reverence.” Closely related are the Hebrew words shabach, “to shout to the Lord”; yadah, “to worship with uplifted hands”; halal, “to celebrate God foolishly and boast about His attributes (love, mercy, goodness, etc.)”; and tehillah, “to sing spontaneous songs of praise.”

~ Vernon Whaley, Called to Worship: The Biblical Foundations of Our Response to God’s Call. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009. Location 145.

Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
But If It Dies, John 12.20-36

Book Reading
Whaley, Called to Worship

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