Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Pick what works for you and add what you’d like. Let’ plan to do together-at-home Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter.
Jesus’ last days, crucifixion and resurrection have a particular significance in this time of pandemic. From our homes, envision others from Union Church and Christians across the world worshipping with us.
Coming soon in email: Good Friday and Easter at-home prayer vigil and worship services
Maundy Thursday, April 9, 2020 6 pm or… meal, each from our own home 6:30 pm or… Communion We gather to be renewed through Christ’s love and
to discern how we can be part of that redeeming work in the world.
Preparation (If children are involved: Help them understand the worshipful purpose) —simple supper ready to serve at 6pm-ish. A cleared table, low lighting and candle would be nice. —bread (chips, tortilla, or crackers will do) —festive beverage for Lord’s Supper and cups for each person —Bible or access to biblegateway.com —hymnal or access to hymnary.org or YouTube —OPTIONAL: towel(s) and basin for foot washing —OPTIONAL: hymn selection sources (see list at end of this email )
Supper Be creative to simulate a spirit of Jesus’ last supper with his followers.
Maybe leave an empty chair for Jesus.
During meal: Think about or simulate what their conversation might have been.
Start meal with a prayer of thanks
Silent Reading Last Supper Gospel Parallels (attached)
Matthew 26.26-29, Mark.14.22-25, Luke 22.15-20 The Last Supper WASH hands before sharing
Prelude Lenten Meditation Union Chime Choir
Explanation (read aloud or silently): New hope began on that night long ago. As his followers half-consciously readied themselves for an uncertain future, Jesus fed them with grace, so that sin, pain, and bitterness could be set down and left behind. Our servant Lord prepared his disciples for disillusionment and also for new life. He humbled himself by washing their feet, to inspire them to follow him in service and love, even for an often unreceptive and sometimes violent world. We again re-enact this story on this night of remembrance. The Bread offers renewed life; the Cup can slake a thirst for hope; and the towel shocked Jesus’ followers…both by his serene humility and compassion; and water from the basin can cleanse the stains of the world.
Anthem Gathered in the Upper Room Union Chancel Choir
Call to Worship
Together with Christians from all places and Christians throughout the centuries, we receive this sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. Think about how Jesus must have felt on that night, knowing he was to die, even when, and worse, HOW he was to die. See the pain in his eyes and the love in his heart. The cup is small, but it floods our lives with Jesus’ love and strength.
Hymn (sing along) Let Us Break Bread Together
Lord—You enable us to cross over from despair to hope, from brokenness to wholeness, from death to life. We thank you for the deep love of Jesus, which moved him to give himself for the redemption of creation. Your love was made clear by Jesus’ Passion and redeeming grace. Once again, we are humbled and grateful for Christ’s suffering love. Amen.
Words of Institution 1 Corinthians 11.24-8 The Apostle Paul wrote the first account ever written of the last supper.
Paul explained: I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.”
Sharing the Bread and Cup
Bread: Jesus, on the night of his betrayal took bread; and having given thanks to God, he broke it and said: “This is my body broken for you. Do this to remember me.”
[Pass the bread and eat—take your time]
Cup: After supper, he did the same thing with the cup: “This is my blood, my new covenant with you. Each time you drink this cup, remember me.”
[Pour and pass the cup(s)and drink—take your time]
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
Anthem Wash Their Feet Union Choir
OPTIONAL: Foot Washing: Talk about the significance of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet as you do the washing. When your feet have been washed, take the bowl and towel, and wash the feet of someone else, as an act of love and service. If you are alone—give yourself a loving foot wash. No scrutinizing rough cuticles! Bonus: Massage with towel.
Jesus Loves Me (sing or recite) Red hymnal 470 or Blue hymnal 304 Jesus loves me this I know. For the bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong. Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me. Yes Jesus loves me. The Bible tells me so.
John 13.35 [Similar to a dying person’s Final Wishes, After their supper, Jesus shared wisdom, assurances and challenges with followers. Summarizing his ministry, Jesus told them:]
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Holy God, Lord of all help us to remember that on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment: To love one another as he had loved them. Inspire us to serve as Jesus served, and to offer ourselves for the sake of others. Amen
Benediction Let us love one another, as Christ loves us, (even) now and forever. Amen.
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Optional hymn/poem suggestions
Also see alphabetical index of hymns at back of hymnal
The Presbyterian Hymnal (Blue hymnal) #501- 522 Lord’s Supper Hymns
The Worshipping Church (Red hymnal #767- 789
Excellent poems: Red #767 and #773
Blue #280 or Red #502 Amazing Grace
Blue # 94 An Upper Room did our Lord Prepare
Blue #367 Jesu, Jesu, fill us with your love
Blue #513 or Red #776 Let Us Break Bread
Red #768 I Come with Joy
Note: The word Maundy is from the Latin first word of the phrase "Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos" (A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you.) —John 13.35