This year believers all over the world will remember the Last Supper and Jesus’ commandment to love one another in a different way. Instead of gathering to re-calibrate our lives around the physical elements of the bread and the cup we must do so spiritually. However, let us not despair. For Christ is with us in all seasons of our lives. I offer this service order for families and for others who might choose to gather in the new means that we have available to us. Thus, we practice social distancing and spiritual closeness.
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Welcome to Maundy Thursday “Mandate Thursday, i.e., love one another, do this in remembrance of Me.”
Let us begin with silent prayer that we might prepare ourselves to worship in spirit and in truth.
[A prayer is here offered.]
Almighty Father, whose most dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it in thankful remembrance of Jesus Christ our Savior, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect, Book of Common Prayer, 2019)
Call to Worship
Leader: We glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our resurrection, our salvation and our life. (from Galatians 6. 14)
Leader: Blessed be our God.
Others: Now and for ever. Amen.
Video: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Cambridge Boys Choir)
Invocation and Lord’s Prayer
God of the covenant,
as we celebrate the beginning of the Paschal feast,
we come to the table of the Lord
in whom we have salvation, life, and resurrection.
This year we are separated in body but not in spirit. For in You we are united. Renew the power of the glorious mystery
in our lives, to one another and to you,
so that with Christ we may pass from this life
to the glory of your kingdom. Amen.
Meditation on the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
[Let the head of the home or another lead in prayer saying . . .]
Let us pray, remembering the body and blood of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. This is the New Covenant Passover that should be remembered until Christ comes again.
Lord Jesus, we remember Your body: the perfect Lamb of God for our righteousness offered as a sacrifice for our sins. We remember Your blood: The new wine of eternal life poured out to atonement for our sins.
We remember the glorious exchange at Calvary: the Savior took our sins and by faith we received His life. Let any who desire offer a prayer of thanks to our Lord.
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully—tonight by faith and in spirit only, until we may gather together as one. We observe this spiritual Holy Communion in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
We remember Your body: the perfect Lamb of God for our righteousness offered as a sacrifice for our sins.
We remember Your blood: The new wine of eternal life poured out to atonement for our sins.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with [us] all. Amen. — 2 Corinthians 13:14 KJV.
Concerning Maundy Thursday
The Paschal mystery—the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ—is at the heart of the Christian Gospel. The evening of Maundy Thursday begins the Triduum (the sacred three days). This service, together with Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and The Great Vigil of Easter, form a single liturgy; thus, the final blessing and dismissal is reserved for the conclusion of the Great Vigil.
Maundy Thursday receives its name from the mandatum (commandment) given by our Lord: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (JOHN 13:34). At the Last Supper, Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and commanded them to love and serve one another as he had done. This day commemorates the Lord’s example of servant ministry, the institution of the Lord’s Supper, the agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal leading to the crucifixion. (adapted from the Book of Common Prayer, 2019).