Gathering in our Homes ~ United in our Praise
Maundy Thursday Worship
Introduction to Tonight's Plan
Maundy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper and the betrayal in the garden, is named for the Latin word for Command. Jesus gives a New Command and then he enacts it as he washes the feet of his disciples. And so, tonight this resources will walk you through key stories in Scripture; enable you to live them; provide space for a meal to be shared; and the opportunity for a foot washing. It is my prayer that this time, although very different from a typical Maundy Thursday, opens us all to a different depth of this holy day.
Elements for Preparation
Helpful Ideas to Make the Most of this Devotion Time
First, adapt this as you need to for your situation. If your family doesn’t provide the attention span to participate in all parts, do as much as you are comfortable. I’ve set this up to be a “Progressive Dinner” approach to our time together. Each section has a suggestion of a place in your home where you can read and discuss the various sections. Also, this is set up so that you can have a meal together in the middle of the devotion. Eating together was one of the main elements of tonight for Jesus and his disciples. As you are able, make a big deal out of this meal. Bring out the fine dishes, light the candles, eat in the dining room–anything you can do to celebrate the significance. Do what makes sense for your family and situation. With each section there are readings, discussion questions, and other elements. Adapt according to your context.
Begin this evening of devotion in one of two places: at your front door (inside or out) or in a formal sitting room.
Let your family know when you will begin this devotional time early in the day so that people are ready.
If you are isolated alone–first, know that you are not! Several options: phone a friend; journal; paint or draw a reflection; write a poem; write out your prayers.
Have dinner ready before you begin so that you can move to the dinner portion after this initial stage.
Have everyone gather with their own Bible or use a family bible to read from together.
If you have young children, have paper and crayons for some coloring according to the stories.
Consider having one Candle that will travel with you throughout the night as a way to help focus attention.
Begin in the Name of
the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
Invite someone to open with a prayer inviting Jesus to join you this evening as you remember, reflect, and are restored.
The Sacred Story
Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. None of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning. For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you. You shall observe this rite as a statute for you and for your sons forever. And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service. And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord‘s Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.
Then the people of Israel went and did so; as the Lord had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
The 10 Plagues
- Death of Firstborn
This portion of our sacred story is about the Passover. It is the story of deliverance for the Israelites out of slavery and into freedom. The 10 plagues build up to the final event and this is the precursor for the Eucharist. It is the Passover meal that Jesus eats with His disciples on this very night. Discuss, reflect, and share with these questions to guide you.
- Which of the 10 plagues could you survive the best? The worst?
- The Israelites were locked in their homes (None of you shall go out of the door of his house)–what have you missed most during this time of isolation?
- What have you missed the least?
- What stands out most from the reading above?
- How does this portion of our story enhance your understanding of Holy Communion and Jesus as the Lamb of God?
- Grab some Legos and make a house with red doors.
- Draw a picture of your favorite/scariest Plague
- Act out a scene of people living. An adult can say the name of one of the plagues and the actors must respond accordingly.
Move to your table and to the meal. If you have a formal dinning room, use it tonight.
Hopefully you had help setting the table earlier!
If you had a candle, set it in the middle of the table and use it to light other tables. Always remember, You never tip a lighted candle 😉
Use this time to retell stories that are foundational to your family
If you are isolated alone, set up an empty chair at your table. Consider Jesus to be dining with you tonight.
Bless your Meal
The Sacred Story
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
- Jesus and the disciples eat together, what are some other bible stories that pertain to food or eating?
- Have you ever had to eat with someone you didn’t like? What happened?
- What do you think Covenant means?
- Speak about what it means that we have not been able to have Communion together during this time? Do you miss it? Will it be different when we are together again?
Family Reflection Questions
During your dinner, share and tell stories. Here are some questions to help get you started
- Tell the story of how you met your spouse
- Share 3 pivotal moments in your life that are part of the reason you are who you are today.
- What are 2 things you wish for your family in the future?
- Recall a trip or vacation that you took and something remarkable from your time away.
- Tell a story about one of your all time most important meals–the people, the setting, the food, and the reason it was so important.
- Take a Family picture around the dinner table. Send it to Pastor Scott at: pastorscott @ princeofpeacefayette . com
At the End of your Dinner, watch and listen to this reflection
The Foot Washing
Move your gathering to the master bathroom–or another fitting location
Of course, getting help to clear the table before you leave is a good thing!
You’ll need one chair or stool to sit in, a bucket or basin, soap, a pitcher and towels.
Take the Candle with you, and while listening to one of the linked song, set the flame by a mirror and turn out the lights.
This is a beautiful time of confession and servitude. May this be holy ground for you and your family.
Feel free to play hymns or praise songs. Here is a helpful Spotify Playlist
If you are isolated alone, I invite you to set a chair in front of you. You can soak your feet in warm water and pray to the Savior who sits with you in the chair before you.
Once You get settled in the next space
The Sacred Story
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
The Washing of Feet
Washing one another’s feet is a tender and intimate moment. It is a declaration of love and service. It is also incredibly humbling. Encourage everyone to participate. If you have not done so already, this is a meaningful time to share confession and forgiveness with one another. The stress, anxiety, and realities of the last three weeks weigh heavy on us all. Name the ways that you have failed one another. Declare that you are sorry. And pronounce forgiveness to one another in the name of Jesus. Again, if you are isolated alone, you can do all of this as a conversation with your Lord who sits in the chair with you through the Holy Spirit.
After each foot washing it is appropriate for the washer to pray over the recipient. Something as simple as: “May the Holy Spirit send you to serve others in Jesus Name. Amen.” You may certainly elaborate as you are led.
It is appropriate for spouses to wash one another’s feet; parents to wash children’s feet; and siblings to wash one another’s feet. All as you see fit.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, which 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 that 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.
Stripping of the Altar
Remain where you are for this final piece
The stripping of the Altar is a symbolic act that reminds us–and shows us–the abandonment that Jesus experienced this night and through the cross. As His body was laid bare, so too are all the appointments of our worship space. Tonight, as we gather apart, we have already been stripped bare of so much in these days. As such, I invite you to read the powerful words of Psalm 22. These words our Savior Sung from the cross. And, despite how we often hear them, they are not the cries of defeat and anguish. To be sure, Jesus was in anguish. But this psalm is one of victory. This psalm, as gut wrenching as it is, is the declaration of Christ Jesus’ greatest victory. And so, share and listen to these words together.
A Final Hymn before our closing Psalm
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
and by night, but I find no rest.
Yet you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
In you our fathers trusted;
they trusted, and you delivered them.
To you they cried and were rescued;
in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
But I am a worm and not a man,
scorned by mankind and despised by the people.
All who see me mock me;
they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”
Yet you are he who took me from the womb;
you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts.
On you was I cast from my birth,
and from my mother’s womb you have been my God.
Be not far from me,
for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.
Many bulls encompass me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me,
like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint;
my heart is like wax;
it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd,
and my tongue sticks to my jaws;
you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me;
a company of evildoers encircles me;
they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones—
they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them,
and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O Lord, do not be far off!
O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion!
You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him,
and stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and he has not hidden his face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
my vows I will perform before those who fear him.
The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied;
those who seek him shall praise the Lord!
May your hearts live forever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations
shall worship before you.
For kingship belongs to the Lord,
and he rules over the nations.
All the prosperous of the earth eat and worship;
before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
even the one who could not keep himself alive.
Posterity shall serve him;
it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn,
that he has done it.
Some Closing Words
It is my hope that our Lord Jesus met you in powerful ways through this devotion and worship time. These are Holy Days. As we move into Good Friday tomorrow, I invite you to invest time in worshipping through our Biblical Stations of the Cross.
Also, during these days, we continue to receive with deep gratitude your offerings and tithes. You may follow the link to give online, or mail checks to the church office.