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Content about Maundy Thursday

March 27, 2019

When you know that a small number of people will attend a worship service, how can you use this as a benefit for spiritual growth for yourself and your congregation? How can intimacy and love, through shared experiences, be fostered within God’s people during lean times? Pastor Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence shares her journey of planning a Maundy Thursday service with low expected attendance.

When you know that a small number of people will attend a worship service, how can you use this as a benefit for spiritual growth for yourself and your congregation? How can intimacy and love, through shared experiences, be fostered within God’s people during lean times? Pastor Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence shares her journey of planning a Maundy Thursday service with low expected attendance.

October 25, 2018

Gather in Silence

Cross Processional

Call to Worship
The grace and peace of the Lord be with you.
And also with you.

O crucified Jesus,
Son of the Father,
conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
eternal Word of God,
we worship you.

O crucified Jesus,
holy temple of God,
dwelling place of the Most High,
we adore you.

November 10, 2015

“When Jesus expressed his anguish on the cross with the words of Psalm 22, he highlighted one of the precious facets of the psalms in general, namely, that as songs they uniquely convey the inward depths of the soul, and especially of Christ’s soul. Not only do the psalms help shape our response to God in the trials and joys of life, they also reveal to us something of the inner life of Jesus Christ, glimpses we do not have through the gospels alone.”
(L. Michael Morales, Jesus and the Psalms)

October 28, 2013

Maundy Thursday (“Maundy” meaning “mandate” or “command”) remembers the time Jesus spent with his disciples in the upper room. It was there that Jesus gave the ultimate example of being a servant as he washed the disciples’ feet:

November 23, 2011

The sun threw its first gloriously warm beams of the spring season upon the singing birds, busy trucks on the downtown street, a neighborhood band rehearsing somewhere out of view. Children scampered eagerly over the playground across the street as we gathered from our homes, schools, and places of employment.

December 1, 2006

This service was designed to be a full service of Word and sacrament. It was also designed to allow worshipers to share in the intimacy Jesus experienced with his disciples through foot washing and during the meal in the hours prior to his arrest and crucifixion.

Instead of using our more formal communion setting, we used two long, narrow handmade wooden tables that were placed in the space between the chancel and the front pews on either side of the center aisle. Each table was surrounded with chairs and set with a homespun cloth and baskets of grapes and bread.

December 4, 2004

Our worship planning team wanted to create a Maundy Thursday worship service that would provide historical and cultural context to Christ’s final hours before his crucifixion and offer an opportunity for the congregation to experience the symbols in a fresh way. I was challenged by our team to develop a vigil with a celebration of the Lord’s Supper as the centerpiece. In preparation, I immersed myself in the Passion narratives, commentaries, and historical accounts.

December 4, 2004

Our worship planning team wanted to create a Maundy Thursday worship service that would provide historical and cultural context to Christ’s final hours before his crucifixion and offer an opportunity for the congregation to experience the symbols in a fresh way. I was challenged by our team to develop a vigil with a celebration of the Lord’s Supper as the centerpiece. In preparation, I immersed myself in the Passion narratives, commentaries, and historical accounts.

December 2, 2002

Our congregation meets for a communion service every year on Maundy Thursday. Sometimes we meet in our fellowship hall and share a simple meal of soup, salad, bread, and water. The food is on each table before the service begins; one person at each table serves the soup to the others. Sometimes we also include footwashing as part of the service. This particular service included both.

The Opening

Welcome

December 1, 1998

The Maundy Thursday service on these pages includes a dramatized retelling of the last supper and a dramatic reading of our Lord’s suffering in the final hours before his death on the cross. At Corinth Reformed UCC, we have used this Maundy Thursday service for three years now, and because it was so well received, it may become an annual tradition.

December 1, 1993

Spending their day pinched into street shoes or treading dusty ground with only a flap of leather to protect them, feet fulfill an unflattering, though necessary, function. Feet are not glamorous; they are the workhorses of the human body. In fact, to some of us, they are an embarrassment when not housed in footwear. Ceremony that exposes our bony, chubby, knobby, ugly smelly, or crooked feet is to be avoided. It is a quaintism, we think, that we can do without.

December 1, 1988

Bringing the people to the upper room

The school gym where I worship is normally bright and bustling before a service. On this Thursday night, however, it is dim and quiet, dozens of small candles providing the only light. In place of the usual rows of chairs there are rows of tables, snaking back and forth to form a single continuous line. At the head table a prominent array of thirteen candles symbolizes Christ and his disciples, whose last supper together this Maundy Thursday service will commemorate.

December 1, 1986

Christians who are searching for a Reformed tradition of celebrating the Holy Week may be disappointed by what they find. Although the Reformers observed parts of the Christian year, they left us no precedent for worship during the Holy Week except the celebration of the Lord's Supper on Easter Sunday. Not surprisingly, the contemporary Reformed church has experimented with many types of liturgies in an attempt to fill that void.

December 1, 1986

For many congregations the Tenebrae service, usually held on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, is one of the most moving and meaningful worship services of the year. In a candle-lit sanctuary Christ's suffering is commemorated through Scripture and song. Candles are extinguished one by one as the congregation listens to the account of Christ's suffering and death.