Maundy Thursday Worship

Download the Worship Bulletin Here

 

We Gather 

 

WELCOME 

 

POEM FOR REFLECTION 

 

Messiah I come, 

brought to my knees by astonishing grace. 

In the presence of such humility 

from one so great 

what can I do but kneel and praise? 

Messiah I come, 

challenged to bow to the King who kneels. 

I want to pour out mercy and bring tender healing, but I am proud, judgmental, and self-absorbed 

and you are the only one 

who can lead me to first-becoming-last greatness. I would wash and serve, wash and love, 

like you do. 

But first Lord Jesus, 

wash my feet, cleanse my heart 

till I am – like you – 

humble and ready on my knees. 

PRELUDE 

SILENT PRAYERS OF INVOCATION 

Let us be still. Let us be silent. 

Let us prepare ourselves for this holy evening. 

 

CALL TO WORSHIP 

This is a day of memory . . . 

as we remember the saving love of God 

and the claim Christ makes on our lives. 

Gratitude calls us here. 

This is a day of mystery . . . 

as we eat of the bread of life 

and drink from the cup of salvation. 

Wonder invites us to go deeper. 

This is a day of deep knowing . . .

as Christ washes our feet 

and we feel the depth of God’s love. 

Love leads us home. 

 

*HYMN Beneath the Cross of Jesus No. 216 (Because the singing of hymns is discouraged during this period of pandemic, you are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

 

Beneath the cross of Jesus I fain would take my stand, the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land; a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way, from the burning of the noontide heat, 

and the burden of the day. 

Upon the cross of Jesus mine eye at times can see the very dying form of One who suffered there for me; and from my stricken heart with tears 

two wonders I confess: 

the wonders of redeeming love and my unworthiness. 

I take, O cross, thy 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 or loss, my sinful self my only shame, my glory all the cross. 

 

CALL TO CONFESSION 

The proof of God’s amazing love is this: while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Because we have faith in him, we dare to approach God with confidence. In faith and penitence let us confess our sin before God and one another. 

 

Silence 

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION 

Creating and Loving God, you kneel to wash our feet, yet we are reluctant to share this intimacy with you. You would bathe us in the living water of your love, yet we would not have you know the places we have

been or the things we have done. 

You bestow your many gifts upon us, 

yet we are slow to share them. 

Forgive us, Holy One. Have mercy on us. 

As you have broken your heart for us, 

may we open ours in your service. 

As you have poured out your life for us, 

may we offer ours to bring healing to a broken world. As you invite us to your Table, may we in turn feed a world hungry for food and for your Spirit. All this we pray as you feed us 

with the bread of compassion 

and fill our cup with an endless stream of grace. (Silent personal prayers of confession) 

 

ASSURANCE OF GOD WITH US 

On this holiest of nights, we have received the good news: God has come in Christ Jesus, to fill us with hope and peace, to bathe us in grace and mercy. 

In remembrance, we go forth: 

to bring hope where despair resides; 

to be servants to those who are broken; 

to love as selflessly as we are loved by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen. 

 

PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION 

 

SCRIPTURE LESSON John 13:1-17, 31-35 

 

PRESENTATION OF OUR GIFTS AND OFFERINGS O God of our salvation, having received the benefits of the greatest sacrifice ever made, by the greatest person who ever lived, we respond by giving our sacrificial gifts for the greatest cause ever known. Amen. 

 

(Thank you for sending your offerings.

They make a great difference to our church’s work in the world.)

Musical Meditation 

 

We Respond 

 

CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S SUPPER 

The Invitation & Words of Institution 

The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving 

The Lord be with you. 

And also with you. 

Lift up your hearts. 

We lift them up to the Lord. 

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God. 

It is right to give our thanks and praise. 

 

The Lord’s Prayer 

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 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, forever. Amen. 

 

The Communion 

Musical Meditation 

 

Prayer following Communion 

O Lord our God, we rise from this table knowing a love beyond our deserving. Thank you for giving us a place at your table; for serving us the bread of life; for offering to us, even to us, the cup of salvation. In humility and in hope we follow you, ready to love and serve one another in your name. Amen. 

 

THE TENEBRAE SERVICE

 

Shadow of Betrayal Matthew 26:17-29 The first candle is extinguished and removed. 

 

Hymn What Wondrous Love Is This No. 215 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul, what wondrous love is this, O my soul! 

What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, to bear the dreadful curse for my soul! 

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing, to God and to the Lamb, I will sing; 

to God and to the Lamb who is the great I am, 

while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing; while millions join the theme, I will sing! 

 

Shadow of Prayer Matthew 26:36-46 The second candle is extinguished and removed. 

 

Hymn Go to Dark Gethsemane No. 220 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verse below.) 

Go to dark Gethsemane, 

all who feel the tempter’s power; 

your Redeemer’s conflict see; 

watch with him one bitter hour; 

turn not from his griefs away; 

learn from Jesus Christ to pray. 

 

Shadow of Arrest Matthew 26:47-56 The third candle is extinguished and removed. 

 

Hymn Go to Dark Gethsemane No. 220 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verse below.)

Follow to the judgment hall; 

view the Lord of life arraigned; 

O the wormwood and the gall! 

O the pangs his soul sustained! 

Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; 

learn from him to bear the cross. 

 

Shadow of Denial Matthew 26:69-75; 27:1-2 The fourth candle is extinguished and removed. 

 

Hymn My Song Is Love Unknown No. 209 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

Sometimes we strew his way, and his sweet praises sing, resounding all the day hosannas to our King. 

Then "Crucify!" is all our breath, 

and for his death we thirst and cry. 

Unheeding, we will have our dear Lord made away, a murderer to save, the prince of life to slay. 

Yet steadfast he to suffering goes, 

that he his foes from thence might free. 

 

Shadow of Conviction Matthew 27:15-26 The fifth candle is extinguished and removed. 

Hymn Ah, Holy Jesus No. 218 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended, 

that we to judge thee have in hate pretended? By foes derided, by thine own rejected, 

O most afflicted! 

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon thee? Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone thee. 

’Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied thee; 

I crucified thee.

 

Shadow of the Cross Matthew 27:32-44 The sixth candle is extinguished and removed. 

 

Hymn O Sacred Head, Now Wounded No. 221 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

O sacred head, now wounded, 

with grief and shame weighed down; 

now scornfully surrounded with thorns, thine only crown; O sacred head, what glory, what bliss till now was thine! Yet, though despised and gory, I joy to call thee mine. 

What thou, my Lord, hast suffered was all for sinners’ gain: mine, mine was the transgression, but thine the deadly pain. Lo, here I fall, my Savior! ’Tis I deserve thy place; look on me with thy favor, and grant to me thy grace. 

What language shall I borrow to thank thee, dearest friend, for this thy dying sorrow, thy pity without end? O make me thine forever; and should I fainting be, Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to thee. 

 

Shadow of Death Matthew 27:45-54 The seventh candle is extinguished and removed. 

 

Hymn Were You There No. 228 (You are invited to hum or meditate on the verses below.) 

As the hymn is sung, the Christ Candle is removed from the sanctuary. 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they crucified my Lord? 

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree? Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they nailed him to the tree? 

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? O! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble. Were you there when they laid him in the tomb? 

 

The Tolling of the Bell 

 

The Darkness 

 

The Charge John 13: 34-35 All depart in silence. 

 

Maundy Thursday - Tenebrae Service 

Welcome to Grace’s Holy Week service of worship and remembrance, adapted from an early 4th century Office of Tenebrae and combined with a Maundy Thursday worship service of our Lord’s Last Supper. 

Maundy Thursday received its name from the narrative of the Lord’s last supper in which Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The word Maundy is derived from the Latin version of John 13:34, mandatum (novem), meaning a new commandment given “that you should love one another as I have loved you.” 

Tenebrae, which is Latin for “shadow” or “darkness,” is derived from the ancient ceremony of extinguishing candles, which symbolize the presence of Christ, “the light of the world.” Throughout the Tenebrae Service, the lights and candles will be progressively extinguished until only the solitary Christ candle remains; the sanctuary will also be gradually stripped of the symbols that point to Christ. The act of darkening and stripping the church portrays the flight of the disciples, the hostility that led to Christ’s crucifixion, and the experience of entering the darkness as Christ is taken from the world. Following the final Scripture reading, the bell will toll 33 times for each year of Christ’s life, and the Christ candle will be carried out, leaving the sanctuary in complete darkness in recognition of the reality of the crucifixion.

Upon the completion of the service, the lights will be raised that we may safely and prayerfully depart in silence. 

Please stand as you are able, in body or in spirit. 

 

All songs not from The Presbyterian Hymnal are used by permission of CCLI #1124594.