Recorded Worship Service for Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020
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Friends in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were called at baptism.
Within the community of the church, God never wearies of forgiving sin and giving the peace of reconciliation. On this night let us confess our sin against God and our neighbor, and enter the celebration of the great Three Days reconciled with God and with one another.
Most merciful God, we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.
God, who is rich in mercy, loved us even when we were dead in sin, and made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved. In the name of ☩ Jesus Christ, your sins are forgiven. Almighty God strengthen you with power through the Holy Spirit, that Christ may live in your hearts through faith. Amen.
Beneath the cross of Jesus I long to take my stand; the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land, a home within a wilderness, a rest upon the way, from the burning of the noontide heat and burdens of the day.
Upon the cross of Jesus, my eye at times can see the very dying form of one who suffered there for me. And from my contrite heart, with tears, two wonders I confess: the wonder of his glorious love and my unworthiness.
I take, O cross, your shadow for my abiding place; I ask no other sunshine than the sunshine of his face; content to let the world go by, to know no gain nor loss, my sinful self my only shame, my glory all, the cross.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. And also with you.
Let us pray. Eternal God, in the sharing of a meal your Son established a new covenant for all people, and in the washing of feet he showed us the dignity of service. Grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit these signs of our life in faith may speak again to our hearts, feed our spirits, and refresh our bodies, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Israel remembered its deliverance from slavery in Egypt by celebrating the festival of Passover. This festival featured the Passover lamb, whose blood was used as a sign to protect God’s people from the threat of death. The early church described the Lord’s Supper using imagery from the Passover, especially in portraying Jesus as the lamb who delivers God’s people from sin and death.
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 of it. 5Your lamb shall be without 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.
I love the Lord, who has | heard my voice, and listened to my | supplication, 2For the Lord has given | ear to me whenev- | er I called.
12How shall I re- | pay the Lord for all the good things God has | done for me? 13I will lift the cup | of salvation and call on the name | of the Lord. R 14I will fulfill my vows | to the Lord in the presence of | all God’s people. 15Precious in your | sight, O Lord, is the death | of your servants. 16O Lord truly I | am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me | from my bonds. 17I will offer you the sacrifice | of thanksgiving and call upon the name | of the Lord. 18I will fulfill my vows | to the Lord in the presence of | all God’s people, 19in the courts of | the Lord’s house, in the midst of you, | O Jerusalem. R
Paul quotes from an early Christian hymn that describes Jesus’ humble obedience in his incarnation as a human being, even to death, and his exaltation and glory as Lord of all.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited,
7but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.
9Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The story of the Last Supper in John’s gospel recalls a remarkable event not mentioned elsewhere: Jesus performs the duty of a slave, washing the feet of his disciples and urging them to do the same for one another.
Now 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. 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.”
31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Go to dark Gethsemane, all who feel the tempter’s pow’r; your Redeemer’s conflict see. Watch with him one bitter hour; turn not from his griefs away; learn from Jesus Christ to pray.
Follow to the judgment hall, view the Lord of life arraigned; oh, the wormwood and the gall! Oh, the pangs his soul sustained! Shun not suff’ring, shame, or loss; learn from him to bear the cross.
Calv’ry’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at his feet, mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete. “It is finished!” hear him cry; learn from Jesus Christ to die.
Early hasten to the tomb where they laid his breathless clay; all is solitude and gloom. Who has taken him away? Christ is ris’n! He meets our eyes. Savior, teach us so to rise.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living 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.
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
During the singing of Psalm 22, worship concludes with the ancient custom of stripping the altar. The sacramental elements and vessels, linens, paraments, banners, and books are removed from the worship space, allowing us to fully reflect on the emptiness of a world without Christ.
The blessing and dismissal are omitted as all depart in reverent silence.
My God, my God, why have you for- | saken me? Why so far from saving me, so far from the words | of my groaning? 2My God, I cry out by day, but you | do not answer; by night, but I | find no rest. 3Yet you are the | Holy One, enthroned on the prais- | es of Israel. 4Our ancestors put their | trust in you, they trusted, and you | rescued them. 5They cried out to you and | were delivered; they trusted in you and were not | put to shame. 6But as for me, I am a worm | and not human, scorned by all and despised | by the people. 7All who see me laugh | me to scorn; they curl their lips; they | shake their heads. 8“Trust in the Lord; let the |Lord deliver; let God rescue him if God so de- | lights in him.” 9Yet you are the one who drew me forth | from the womb, and kept me safe on my | mother’s breast. 10I have been entrusted to you ever since | I was born; you were my God when I was still in my | mother’s womb. 11Be not far from me, for trou- | ble is near, and there is no | one to help. 12Many young bulls en- | circle me; strong bulls of Ba- | shan surround me. 13They open wide their | jaws at me, like a slashing and | roaring lion. 14I am poured out like water; all my bones are | out of joint; my heart within my breast is | melting wax. 15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; my tongue sticks to the roof | of my mouth; and you have laid me in the | dust of death. 16Packs of dogs close me in, a band of evildoers | circles round me; they pierce my hands | and my feet. 17I can count | all my bones while they stare at | me and gloat. 18They divide my gar- | ments among them; for my clothing, | they cast lots. 19But you, O Lord, be not | far away; O my help, hasten | to my aid. 20Deliver me | from the sword, my life from the power | of the dog. 21Save me from the | lion’s mouth! From the horns of wild bulls you have | rescued me. 22I will declare your name | to my people; in the midst of the assembly | I will praise you. 23You who fear the Lord, give praise! All you of Jacob’s | line, give glory. Stand in awe of the Lord, all you off- | spring of Israel. 24For the Lord does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty; neither is the Lord’s face hid- | den from them; but when they cry out, | the Lord hears them. 25From you comes my praise in the | great assembly; I will perform my vows in the sight of those who | fear the Lord. 26The poor shall eat | and be satisfied. Let those who seek the Lord give praise! May your hearts | live forever! 27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn | to the Lord; all the families of nations shall bow | before God. 28For dominion belongs | to the Lord, who rules o- | ver the nations. 29Indeed all who sleep in the earth shall bow | down in worship; all who go down to the dust, though they be dead, shall kneel be- | fore the Lord. 30Their descendants shall | serve the Lord, whom they shall proclaim to genera- | tions to come. 31They shall proclaim God’s deliverance to a people | yet unborn, saying to them, “The |Lord has acted!”
Ubi Caritas et Amor – Gerald Near, St. Augustine’s Organbook; Ten preludes for organ on Gregorian Chant melodies, copyright 1996, Aureole Editions – Morningstar/Birnamwood Publications. Reprinted with permission under One License #A-730287. All rights reserved.