Maundy Thursday

This service was streamed live on our parish Facebook page. Here is a transcription for you to reflect on:

The Gathering

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with you

All   Amen.

Prayers of Penitence

Our Lord Jesus Christ says:

‘If you love me, keep my commandments.’

‘Unless I wash you, you have no part in me.’

‘Let us confess to almighty God our sins against his love,

and ask him to cleanse us

All   Have mercy on us, O God,

in your great goodness;

according to the abundance of your compassion

blot out our offences.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Against you only have we sinned

and done what is evil in your sight.

Christ, have mercy.

All   Christ, have mercy.

Purge us from our sin and we shall be clean;

wash us and we shall be whiter than snow.

Lord, have mercy.

All   Lord, have mercy.

Amen.

May the Father forgive you

by the death of his Son

and strengthen you

to live in the power of the Spirit

all your days.

All   Amen

Gloria in Excelsis

All   Glory to God in the highest,

and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King,

almighty God and Father,

we worship you, we give you thanks,

we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,

Lord God, Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world:

have mercy on us;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father:

receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit,

in the glory of God the Father.

Amen.

The Collect

Let us pray that we may love one another as Christ has loved us.

God our Father,

you have invited us to share in the supper

which your Son gave to his Church

to proclaim his death until he comes:

may he nourish us by his presence,

and unite us in his love;

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

¶    The Liturgy of the Word 

1 Corinthians 11.23-26

The Institution of the Lord’s Supper

23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for* you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ 25In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.’ 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

This is the word of the Lord.

All   Thanks be to God.

Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:

Love one another as I have loved you.

All   Praise to you, O Christ, King of eternal glory.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John.

All   Glory to you, O Lord.

John 13.1-17, 31b-35

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

13Now 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.’

12 After 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.

The New Commandment

31 When 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.’

Sermon

The last two verses in today’s gospel reading are among the most challenging in the Bible. Love one another, as I have loved you. Love one another isn’t that easy. To love as Jesus loves us is a very big ask, and to follow that with telling us that everyone will be watching us to see if we measure up is enough to make us wonder if this is really meant for the likes of us.

Let’s start by asking what Jesus means by “love”. It is an overused word. “I just love that dress.”” I love to go for walks in the countryside”. “I think I’m in love”. It has become devalued by overuse. When Jesus talks of love, it is not a shallow feeling, indeed it cannot be in itself a feeling at all, because you cannot command someone to feel something. They either do or they don’t – feelings cannot be manufactured. Love is an act of will, a choice, a determination. It is willing the good of the other. Perhaps Jesus is only referring to loving other Christians? God is our Father, so other Christians are our brothers and sisters. At first glance that seems to be relatively easy, if we come from a happy home, but the word “sibling” is often followed by the word “rivalry”. Loving members of our family is not necessarily easy, and bitter feuds often break out. Cain and Abel being the first example, I’m sure you know many instances first hand. By telling us we are brothers and sisters, Jesus wasn’t implying that loving each other would be easy.   In the sermon on the mount he also tells us to love our enemies, so I think we can assume that he is not limiting the reach of our love in any way. Who really gets on your nerves? A colleague at work? A politician? Even these are people we must love. Remember we don’t have to like them, but we must genuinely want the best for them.

Wanting the best for someone is not the same as giving them what they want. Teenagers are the prime example – to spoil them, or fail to give them boundaries is doing them no favours. Loving those who we believe are behaving in ways that are destructive is easier if we remember that wishing their good might mean wishing their repentance – although we must guard against being judgemental. The inquisition were, after all, quite convinced that torturing heretics was in their best interests! Loving others as Jesus loves us is not a question of being perfect in our love, as much as a way of seeing others as God sees us, imperfect, getting things wrong, but within us the person who God has created and declared to be good.

Having said that love is an act of will doesn’t mean that there is no place for feelings. To pray for the good of someone whose actions we abhor helps us to limit the anger that can cloud our judgement. Praying for someone we find annoying can help us be more understanding and patient. Praying for those with whom we have natural affection, our friends and our family, is, of course, even better. The human loving feelings will expand and deepen as we ask God to bless them.  

If God is love, and God is almighty, then it is true that love conquers all. The message of Holy Week from start to finish is that Jesus had to endure loneliness, betrayal, desertion, slander, torture and death, but right until the end he kept loving. Our witness as Christians is to be the ones who don’t give up, who refuse to hate, to be cynical or to despair. To gain strength from the love of those who love us, and to in turn love those the world considers unlovable.

Today’s service has three themes. There is the foot washing, which sadly we cannot do this year, but which reminds us of the small acts of humble service which we can find opportunities for every day in our ordinary lives, the watch where in our love for Jesus we keep him company in the long hours before his arrest, and between those the Eucharist. We re-enact today the very first time that Jesus said this is my Body and this is my Blood, and in doing so we are one with Christians throughout the ages, in every time and place. There are many deprivations at present, and one for Christians is not to be able to receive the bread and the wine in its physical form. For some of you, I know, that causes real pain. But the grace of God is not limited by circumstances. The church is not a building, but the body of Christ, and our desire to receive communion is all that God requires to give us the nourishment and strength that we receive at the altar in normal times. In the moments of silence at the end of the service we can offer up the pain of our physical separation from each other as we sit with One suffered loneliness and separation that we might have life.

The Washing of Feet would normally occur here

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us

that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters

we do also for you:

give us the will to be the servant of others

as you were the servant of all,

and gave up your life and died for us,

but are alive and reign, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

Prayers of Intercession

The response to Lord, hear us is:

Lord graciously hear us.

In the power of the Spirit, let us pray to the Father through Christ the saviour of the world.

Father, on this night he was betrayed, your Son Jesus Christ washed his disciples’ feet.

We commit ourselves to follow his example of love and service especially as we remember

the NHS, Key workers and all those serving others during this difficult time.

Lord, hear us

Lord graciously hear us.

On this night, he prayed for his disciples to be one.

We pray for the unity of your Church, as we use technology to bring your church into the

homes of us all, united as one church, one family wherever we are.

Lord, hear us

Lord graciously hear us.

On this night, he prayed for those who were to believe through his disciples’ message.

We pray for the mission of your church as we reach out to those who seek you for

reassurance, comfort and peace.

Lord, hear us

Lord graciously hear us.

On this night, he commanded his disciples to love, but suffered rejection himself.

We pray for the rejected and unloved, for refugees, the homeless and those who struggle

with anxiety and depression especially at this time of uncertainty.

Lord, hear us

Lord graciously hear us.

On this night, he reminded his disciples that if the world hated them it hated him first.

We pray for those who are persecuted for their faith and give thanks that we are able to

practice our faith freely.

Lord, hear us

Lord graciously hear us.

On this night, he reminded his disciples to love one another.

We pray for all those who find these days of social isolation difficult as we remember all our

friends, our Church Community and loved ones.

We remember also those suffering in body, mind or spirit, especially Boris Johnson and all

those whose names we will never know who are suffering from COVD-19.

Lord, hear us

Lord graciously hear us.

On this night, he accepted the cup of death and looked forward to the new wine of the

kingdom.

We remember those who have died in the peace of Christ, especially those who have died

suddenly, unprepared and alone. We remember the many who have died from COVD-19

and those who will die this night.

We pray for all those who mourn that the Love of God may comfort them.

Lord, hear us

Lord graciously hear us.

Merciful Father,

All   accept these prayers

for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

Amen.

¶    The Liturgy of the Sacrament 

The Peace

Jesus says: ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.’

The peace of the Lord be always with you

All   and also with you.

Preparation of the Table

Taking of the Bread and Wine

At the eucharist we are with our crucified and risen Lord.

We know that it was not only our ancestors,

but we who were redeemed

and brought forth from bondage to freedom,

from mourning to feasting.

We know that as he was with them in the upper room

so our Lord is here with us now.

All   Until the kingdom of God comes

let us celebrate this feast.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of the universe,

you bring forth bread from the earth.

All   Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord, God of the universe,

you create the fruit of the vine.

All   Blessed be God for ever.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord be with you

All   and also with you.

Lift up your hearts.

All   We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All   It is right to give thanks and praise.

It is indeed right to give you thanks,

Father most holy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For on this night he girded himself with a towel

and, taking the form of a servant,

washed the feet of his disciples.

He gave us a new commandment

that we should love one another as he has loved us.

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.

Therefore earth unites with heaven

to sing a new song of praise;

we too join with angels and archangels

as they proclaim your glory without end:

All   Holy, holy, holy Lord,

God of power and might,

heaven and earth are full of your glory.

Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

Lord, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness;

grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit,

and according to your holy will,

these gifts of bread and wine

may be to us the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ;

who, in the same night that he was betrayed,

took bread and gave you thanks;

he 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.

In the same way, after supper

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.

Do this, as often as you drink it,

in remembrance of me.

 Great is the mystery of faith:

All   Christ has died:

Christ is risen:

Christ will come again.

And so, Father, calling to mind his death on the cross,

his perfect sacrifice made once for the sins of the whole world;

rejoicing in his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension,

and looking for his coming in glory,

we celebrate this memorial of our redemption.

As we offer you this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving,

we bring before you this bread and this cup

and we thank you for counting us worthy

to stand in your presence and serve you.

Send the Holy Spirit on your people

and gather into one in your kingdom

all who share this one bread and one cup,

so that we, in the company of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Margaret, Saint George, all the saints,

may praise and glorify you for ever,

through Jesus Christ our Lord;

by whom, and with whom, and in whom,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

all honour and glory be yours, almighty Father,

for ever and ever.

All   Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray

All   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,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

Every time we eat this bread

and drink this cup,

All   we proclaim the Lord’s death

until he comes.

All   Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God,

you take away the sin of the world,

grant us peace.

Giving of Communion

Draw near with faith.

Receive the body of our Lord Jesus Christ

which he gave for you,

and his blood which he shed for you.

Eat and drink

in remembrance that he died for you,

and feed on him in your hearts

by faith with thanksgiving.

Amen.

Prayer after Communion

Silence is kept.

Lord Jesus Christ,

we thank you that in this wonderful sacrament

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,

for you are alive and reign, now and for ever.

All   Amen.

The Stripping of the Sanctuary

The Watch

The following readings will be used, as many as appropriate until 30 minutes has elapsed.

John 13.16-30

Psalm 113

John 13.31-end

Psalm 114

John 14.1-14

Psalm 115

John 14.15-end

Psalm 116.1-9

John 15.1-17

Psalm 116.10-end

John 15.18–16.4a

Psalm 117

John 16.4b-15

Psalm 118.1-9

John 16.16-end

Psalm 118.10-18

John 17.1-19

Psalm 118.19-end

John 17.20-end

We conclude with The Gospel of the Watch

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

“Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded[a] to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” And he said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!” Jesus[b] said, “I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.”

Purse, Bag, and Sword

He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives

He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”[c] Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” [[Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.]][d] When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.”[e]

The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus

While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; but Jesus said to him, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?” Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!”

Peter Denies Jesus

Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them. Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not!” Then about an hour later still another kept insisting, “Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about!” At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.


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