On the Thursday of Holy Week, we remember Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and instituting The Last Supper. The name comes from the Latin word Maundatum for “commandment” as Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment; that you love one another.”
At the conclusion of this service, altars are normally stripped of any ornamentation and crosses are removed or veiled to mark the solemnness of the occasion, reflecting too, Jesus being stripped before his crucifixion.
Following the stripping of the altar, is the Watch. We are invited to stay a while in prayer and wait, as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, staying awake as the disciples slept. This evening, we invite you to wait with Jesus, with all who sit up and wait for news of loved ones ill in hospital, wait for relatives working in health and care to come home safely from a shift, wait for loved ones stuck abroad or on ships around the world. We wait with those who watch in struggle over their own faith, and of course, with those who are already grieving. Wherever you choose to wait and watch, please stay as long as you like.
There is no formal dismissal from this service because Maundy Thursday, the Liturgy of Good Friday and the prayers on Holy Saturday (Easter Eve) form a whole – the Triduum – three holy days before the Easter feast.
The full audio can be found here.
Blessed be God,
by whose grace creation is renewed,
by whose love heaven is opened,
by whose mercy we offer our sacrifice of praise.
All Blessed be God forever.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord be with you.
All And also with you.
Our Lord Jesus Christ says: “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
Let us confess to God our sin against his love.
In the wilderness we find your grace:
you love us with an everlasting love.
Lord, have mercy
All Lord, have mercy.
There is none but you to uphold our cause:
our sin cries out and our guilt is great.
Christ, have mercy.
All Christ, have mercy.
Gracious God, who forgives all who truly repent,
have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins,
confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and keep you in life eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love towards the human race
sent your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
The Ministry of the Word
Old Testament reading: Exodus 12.1-4. 11-14
New Testament reading: 1 Corinthians 11. 23-26
At the end of each reading
For the word of the Lord,
All thanks be to God.
The Gospel – A New Commandment
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to John.
All Glory to you, O Lord.
At the end of the Gospel:
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
All Praise to you, O Christ.
Prayers of Intercession
Father, on this, the night he was betrayed,
your Son Jesus Christ washed his disciples’ feet.
We commit ourselves to follow his example of love and service.
Lord, hear us
All and humble us.
On this night, he prayed for his disciples to be one.
We pray for the unity of your church.
Lord, hear us
All and unite us.
On this night, he prayed for those who were to believe
through their message.
We pray for the mission of your church.
Lord hear us
All and renew our zeal.
On this night, he commanded them to love,
but suffered rejection himself.
We pray for those rejected and unloved.
Lord hear us
All and fill us with your love.
On this night, he reminded them that if the world
hated them it hated him first.
We pray for those who are persecuted for their faith.
Lord hear us
All and give us your peace.
On this night he gave to the church the sacrament of his body and blood. We pray for all the departed that we with them may sit and eat in your kingdom.
All Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Christ is our peace. He reconciles us to God in one body by the cross.
We meet in his name and share his peace.
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
The Last Supper
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is indeed right to give you thanks tonight,
Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For on this night he girded himself with a towel and taking the form of a servant, washed the disciples’ feet.
He gave us a new commandment, that we should love one another as he has loved us.
Then, knowing that his hour had come, in his great love,
he gave this supper to his disciples to be a memorial of his Passion, that we might proclaim his death until he comes again, and feast with him in his Kingdom.
On this night, Jesus took bread and gave you thanks;
broke it and gave it to his disciples saying:
“Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of me.”
Then he took the cup and gave you thanks;
he gave it to them, saying:
“Drink this all of you;
this is my blood of the new covenant,
which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Therefore, heavenly Father,
tonight we remember his offering of himself
made once for all upon the cross;
we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension;
we look for the coming of your kingdom,
and with this bread and this cup
we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.
As we feed on him in our hearts, by faith, with thanksgiving,
renew us by your Spirit,
inspire us with your love
and unite us in the body of your son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him, and with him, and in him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with all who stand before you in earth and heaven,
we worship you, Father almighty,
in songs of everlasting praise:
All Blessing and honour and glory and power
be yours for ever and ever. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ,
we thank you that in the sacrament of communion
you have given us the memorial of your passion:
grant us so to reverence the sacred mysteries
of your body and blood
that we may know within ourselves
and show forth in our lives the fruit of your redemption;
you who died, was raised and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
To you be glory for ever.
An upper room did our Lord prepare
for those he loved until the end:
and his disciples still gather there
to celebrate their risen friend.
A lasting gift Jesus gave his own:
to share his bread, his loving cup.
Whatever burdens may bow us down,
he by his Cross shall lift us up.
And after Supper he washed their feet,
for service, too, is sacrament.
In him our joy shall be made complete –
sent out to serve, as he was sent.
No end there is! We depart in peace,
he loves beyond the uttermost:
in every room in our Father’s house
he will be there as Lord and Host.
On Maundy Thursday we strip the altar, and prepare to watch with Jesus in the garden. The Eucharist was celebrated at the Vicarage on behalf of us all, and it has been reserved for us here. Please wait and watch together.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me:
why are you so far from helping me and from the words of my groaning?
All My God I cry out to you by day but you do not answer:
and by night also I take no rest.
But you continue holy:
you that are the praise of Israel.
All In you our fathers trusted:
they trusted and you delivered them.
To you they cried and they were saved:
they put their trust in you and were not confounded.
All But as for me I am a worm and no man:
the scorn of men and despised by the people.
All those that see me, laugh me to scorn:
They shoot out their lips at me and wag their heads saying:
All “He trusted in the Lord, let him deliver him:
let him deliver him if he delights in him.”
But you are he that took me out of the womb:
that brought me to lie at peace on my mother’s breast.
All On you I have been cast since my birth:
you are my God, even from my mother’s womb.
O go not from me for trouble is hard at hand:
and there is no-one to help.
All O Lord do not stand far off:
you are my helper, hasten to my aid.
The Gospel of the Watch
“When the disciples had sung a hymn they went out to the Mount of Olives. Jesus prayed to the Father, ‘If it is possible, take this cup of suffering from me.’ He said to his disciples, ‘How is it that you were not able to keep watch with me for one hour? The hour has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to the power of sinners.’”