I always love getting email from my Austin, TX friend Richard Kentopp (Check out his Gentle Wolves project). He and I both love the joy of spontaneous collaborations around a provocative theme. Recently he invited six of us to all retune the same text – an ecological meditation on Christ at the Mount of Olives. Thanks to Josh Banner at the Invitation Podcast for producing my track.
On Maundy Thursday the church remembers the last evening Jesus shared with his disciples in the upper room before his arrest and crucifixion. Maundy Thursday marks three key events in Jesus’ last week: his washing of his disciples’ feet, his institution of the Lord’s Supper, and his new commandment to love one another. This service begins the Triduum, the three-day period from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Easter Day. The name “Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin mandatum novum, referring to the “new commandment” Jesus taught his disciples (John 13:34). In other words, this is “new commandment Thursday.” – The Worship Sourcebook, p. 593
Here are three different approaches to Maundy Thursday that I’ve collected this year.
Covenant Presbyterian – Chicago, IL
Paul Van Bijl – one of my favorite resident liturgists presents a view into Maundy Thursday through the lens of foreshadowed sacrifice and atonement from OT into NT. PDF
Trinity Presbyterian – Charlottesville, VA
Greg Thompson and Isaac Wardell wrote an excellent thematic approach to Maundy Thursday forecasting the various sufferings of Christ throughout the voices of the gospels. PDF
Christ the King Presbyterian – Raleigh, NC
This is a liturgy I wrote a few years back (MT 2010) connected to our Lord’s Supper Grant that looks at the theme of table fellowship throughout scripture from Adam to the Feast of the Lamb. PDF
Church of the Servant – Grand Rapids, MI
Greg Scheer has provided an excellent liturgy for a traditional Maundy Thursday service that includes Word, Table, AND foot washing. Greg always finds great texts to complement his services and this is a fantastic Filippino hymn that works out the metaphor of Luke 13:34 (Jesus as both the mother and persecuted one of Jerusalem). Read both of these as you prep for your Maundy Thursday service. PDF
The events framed by Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and his resurrection are some of the most dramatic and theologically important of the entire scriptural narrative. These days feature not only the drama of the triumphal entry, trial, last supper, and crucifixion but also poignant prayers and prophetic teachings of our Lord. John’s gospel devotes eight of its twenty-one chapters to this week alone! The week begins with Passion/Palm Sunday and ends with the “three days” (also called the Triduum, from sunset on Thursday to sunset on Easter Day), the period during which we mark Jesus’ trial, death, and resurrection. — The Worship Sourcebook
<click on image above to download a pdf of our service>
Our church, Christ the King Presbyterian is celebrating a semi-traditional Maundy Thursday Service tonight. Maundy comes from ‘mandatum novum’ the latin word for commandment and originates in Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 13, where after the Passover he says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you.”
The three themes that typically mark a Maundy Thursday Service are:
• The events in the Upper room, where Jesus celebrates the last Passover with his
disciples, and institutes the Lord’s Supper in his name.
• The washing of the disicples feet.
• Jesus’ new command to his disciples to love one another.
Along side these central events we will also reflect on how scripture has used the recurring theme of food to impart God’s presence with his people looking at scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, with a nod to the ‘Egyptian Hallel’ (Psalms 113-118) as the hymns that Jesus sung with his disciples during Passover (Matthew 26:30).
The music will celebrate the culmination of our year long series – Songs for the Sojourn – through the Psalms of Ascents.