Maundy (or, Holy) Thursday liturgy is part of one event that spans three days—the triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil (Saturday). Maundy Thursday commemorates both the Jewish Passover and the institution of the Last Supper. Both Jews and Christians are enjoined to hand on to the next generation what we have received from God. Jews still celebrate the Passover to this day. For Christians, when do you first remember receiving the Lord’s Supper? What words, phrases, memories, or practices of this sacrament do you especially wish to pass on to your children or grandchildren? At the end of Maundy Thursday liturgies, there is no blessing. Rather, it ends in a way that is intentionally unresolved, indicating that there is more to come.
Maundy (Holy) Thursday
Gather with Art and Song
Reflect and prepare…Be still and aware of God’s presence within and all around.
OPENING WORDS / CALL TO WORSHIP
“As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” Psalm 42:1-2
Let us pray together:
PRAYER OF THE DAY
In the darkness of the evening the eyes of my heart are awake to you. In the quiet of the night I long to hear again intimations of your love. In the sufferings of the world and the struggles of my life I seek your graces of healing. At the heart of the brokenness around me and in the hidden depths of my own soul I seek your touch of healing, O God, for there you reside. In the hidden depths of life, O God, there you reside.
Hymn: “It is Well With My Soul”
INVITATION TO HEALING
Jesus said, One who has bathed does not need to wash. (John 13:10)
In our baptism, we have been bathed by the grace of God. Trusting in the steadfast love of Jesus Christ, let us seek God’s wholeness.
PRAYER FOR WHOLENESS
You have given us eyes to see with, O God, and ears to hear life’s sounds and sorrows and yet our seeing and hearing, like our tasting and touching are wounded and weakened by failures. As rest can heal the sores of the body and sleep restores its strength so may your angels of grace visit us this night that the senses of our souls may be born afresh. Visit our dreams with messengers of grace, O God, that the senses of our souls may be born again. Amen.
ASSURANCE OF GOD’S PRESENCE WITH US
We are told in scripture that in Jesus Christ, we are made new. (2 Cor. 5:17)
Thanks be to God!
Hymn: “Amazing Grace”
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION
Gracious God, feed us with your Word and fill us with your Spirit, so that our lives may proclaim the mystery of faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gospel John 13:1, 3-10
1Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end…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….”
Hymn: “The Servant Song”
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING AND INTERCESSION
When it seemed there was no hope we have seen your light in the eyes of a child. When it seemed there was no joy we have heard your delight in the voice of a friend. When it seemed that life was stale we have smelled the freshness of sunlight on our skin. When all seemed emptiness we have touched your presence in the flowers blooming in this time of spring. When the future seemed barren we have tasted life’s moisture in a simple glass of water, wine, or juice. Thanks be to you, O God, for your embodied love. Now, we pray, open our senses to your Presence that we may love you and care for you by lifting these whom we hold dear up to you… (petitions may be spoken aloud or prayed in silence at this time. When you are ready to move on, listen to the following, and end this portion of your devotion with the Evening Household Prayer)
Hymn: “O Lord Hear My Prayer”
Evening Household Prayer:
O Lord, as I rest in you this night, Ps. 116:15–16
keep me faithful.
Let my dying and my living
be precious in your sight
so that I may rest in you forever;
I ask in Jesus’ name…
Maundy Thursday liturgy is part of one event that spans three days—the triduum of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil—there is no blessing in this service; rather, it ends in a way that is intentionally unresolved, indicating that there is more to come.
By Friday noon, Good Friday Evening Prayer will be posted for your personal devotion. The Easter Vigil Evening Prayer will be posted by noon on Saturday.
 Prayers adapted from John Philip Newell’s Celtic Benediction: Morning and Night Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 2000), 55-59.