COCU28.Maundy Thursday


Maundy Thursday, Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide

See also COCU28A

Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Corinthians 11:23-26
John 13:1-17, 31b-35


See also Year C Maundy Thursday


Resource on RuachWords website

Maundy Thursday – greatness redefined
Why did you wash their feet?
I don’t understand, it makes no sense.
Why did you do something so demeaning,
so distasteful,
when you did not have to?
Why humble yourself and wash the feet of your own disciples? You are the Messiah,
it makes no sense for you, of all people,
to do something that should be done by the least of all people, not by the greatest.
It is not what we want our Messiahs to do.
unless we have got it wrong and that,
somehow this is a measure of what Messiah means? Not that it is defined in greatness
but that somehow, in your world the first will be last, and the greatest, least and servant of all?.
But if we are to follow you,
does it mean that we must follow your example too?
Are you suggesting that we too should make ourselves humble?
That we must wash the feet of the people whom we would rather ignore, or scapegoat,
or deride?
Must we too become the servants of the least among us?
the refugee,
the disabled,
the homeless,
the addicted, the anti-social, the child?
Was that what all of this was about?
To try and put us in our rightful place, not at the centre of our own world,
but at the centre of yours,
where we are no longer the most important person? Is that it?
Were you trying to teach us this simple truth,
that other people,
all other people, should matter too?
Is that why you washed their feet?
A prayer of response
Messiah I come,
Brought to my knees by astonishing grace. In the presence of such humility
From one so great
What can I do but kneel and praise?
Messiah I come,
Challenged to bow to the King who kneels.
I want to pour out mercy and bring tender healing,
But I am proud, judgemental, and self-absorbed
And you are the only one who can lead me to first-becoming-last greatness.
I would wash and serve, wash and love, Like you do.
But first Lord Jesus,
Wash my feet, cleanse my heart
Till I am – like you –
Humble and ready on my knees.
(Source: © 2011 Nigel Varndell Meditations)

Maundying Thursday
(The word maundy comes from the Old French mande, in turn from the Latin mandātum, which means “mandate or command.”)
God with us, Word, Messiah, Incarnation, Revelation,
We begin to remember
Recalling the meaning of your love
Preparing for your sacrifice to be honoured once again.
We walk through that night before the hardest of times
We do as you command,
Breaking bread,
As it becomes like your body,
Broken for us,
That we might be whole;
Drinking wine,
As it becomes like your blood,
Poured out for us,
Poured out for all,
Your life laid down,
For the forgiveness of sin;
And we remember.
Your love is reignited in us,
For we remember its depth
Remember its power,
Remember your command to love as you love us,
Loving each other that others might know that we are your disciples,
Loving our neighbour that all might see the good that we do as your people
and give right glory to you.
Your grace is reawakened in us,
For we remember your example,
Serving, not being served,
Laying down your life just as we should lay down our lives for others,
For failing to do this means that we have no part in you,
As you are love,
And all who live in love live in you and you in them,
And how can we love you who we cannot physically see
if we don’t love others whose needs are before us?
As we prepare to be led to the cross,
Help us take up our cross and follow you,
That we might not just maundy Thursday,
But go on maundying every day,
Bringing Easter to life in all our living.
We remember. We pray. Amen.
(Rev Jon Humphries, Transforming Worship Facebook page, Easter 2024)

To the end of love
Oh but how I love them,
and I will love them
to the end, and back again
to new beginnings.
They make me laugh,
with ‘not my feet – you
cannot stoop so low
my Lord,’ then ‘Oh, I see,
wash all of me! Tip
it all right over my head!’
They make me cry,
not all of you are here
with all your heart
and understanding, I know
who will leave the path,
the group, our family.
But I’ll love them all,
flaws and jewels and love
them through it all
so fiercely that all my love
will change their love
to a stooping low before
each other as I have done,
to wash, to serve, to love.
Oh, how I love them –
God will they love them,
the ‘all’ we would have
them welcome in, love
them with me until the end?
(Source: Rev Dr Sarah Agnew, Pray the Story)

Tonight is a night of darkness – for Maudy Thursday
Tonight is a night of darkness.
We gather it together like gauze and wrap our souls in it.
Tonight is a night of final things.
We gather together in the darkness and hold hands for one last meal.
Tonight is a night of water.
We gather together to cleanse and prepare.
Tonight is a night of tears
We gather together and pray that the tears can wash away the betrayal yet
Tonight is a night of betrayal.
We gather together to support one another, but one of us will destroy.

The cup comes to me at the table – the cup of the last meal
I will drink of it deeply and
Remember all the good times; the teachings, the laughter, the love.
The cup comes to me at the table – the cup of new beginnings
I will drink of it deeply and
Hope that the new covenant will not hurt too much as it is carved on my heart
The cup comes to me in the garden – the cup of my Father’s will
I will drink of it deeply after
I ask that it pass from me.
The cup comes to me as He is on the cross – the cup of bitterness
I will drink of it deeply even
If it comes in a form that is alien to me.
The cup comes to me tonight and I will drink
I will drink deeply and enter into
At one ment with Him.

“Komunyon” by Filipino artist Emmanuel Garibay

This is the dark night of the cup.
Dark is the wine, dark are the shadows, dark is my soul.
Together we enter into this night, we will leave separately in silence.
Can I be at one with Him? Will I stand watch with Him tonight?
Or will I too sleep at the gate?
Will I embrace and kiss only to betray?
(Source: Theresa Coleman)

In the silence
When Jesus stood this afternoon before Pilate’s court and Pilate demanded that Jesus make a defense for Himself, Jesus said nothing. There was silence, a great gap in the proceedings. And in the silence, Pilate’s nervous mocking: “Are you then, ‘King’ of the Jews?”
“No one has called Me ‘King’ but you,” says Jesus.
“And He never said a mumblin’ word,” sings the spiritual. Not a word. He who was such a preacher, refused at the last to speak. And His silence is revealing, even damning. That’s when we did the talking, “Crucify Him!” or, “Let His blood be upon us and our children,” or “If you are the Son of God, save yourself.” It’s in silences that the voices come, the accusing, honest, inner voices that the Muzak seeks to squelch.
They whisper, “I know what you did last summer.” “You should have spoken up.” “Why did you lie?” “How dare you?” “You are not the person others think you are.”
A psychiatrist told me that in some forms of mental illness it’s as if that monitor in the front part of our brain that silences the dark painful messages loosens its grip over our consciousness, thus enabling suppressed, long buried voices to speak into our brains. And it just drives us crazy.
Well, tonight is a time – in the silence, in beginning a service with confession, in rallying around the blood of the cross – to let the voices have their say. It takes a certain sort of guts, borne upon a certain sort of grace, to have the courage to sit in the silence.
I’m impressed that you are so willing to be silenced, alone, and to let the Spirit work its way on this night of nights. A few words will be said, but not enough to explain much or give you satisfying answers. Then we shall end this service in silence, utter silence. You will scurry away quickly into the dark. Just as Jesus’ disciples, after dinner last night, fled into the dark when the soldiers came for Jesus.
Silence takes courage, in a world where there are so many artificial means of making music and filling the void. Lent is a season for confession, repentance, honesty and candid self-examination. Jesus is going this night to do His work. Now, in the silence, in the aloneness, we have our work to do as well. The voices, within and without, so frequently suppressed, now can be heard.
It takes guts to sit in such silence. How is that possible for people such as ourselves? Amid the deafening, accusing silence of this night, His words come back to us, words we cannot forget, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
(Source: William Willimon, originally entitled Good Friday:In the Silence)

Holy Thursday, and it is time to come to the table.
Here at the table, there is bread.
Here at the table, there is wine.
Here at the table, there is Christ,
offering the gifts to us with beautiful simplicity and astonishing love.
As we linger at the table, as we leave the table, what will we do with what we receive?

Blessing the Bread, the Cup
For Holy Thursday
Let us bless the bread
that gives itself to us
with its terrible weight,
its infinite grace.
Let us bless the cup
poured out for us
with a love
that makes us anew.
Let us gather
around these gifts
simply given
and deeply blessed.
And then let us go
bearing the bread,
carrying the cup,
laying the table
within a hungering world.
(Source: Jan Richardson, Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons)

He said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
And they began to say to him one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” …
Then Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters because of me this night.”
Peter said to him, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.”
And so said all the disciples. (from Matthew 26.21-35)

Jesus, my Friend,
my Beloved, my Person,
I love you, and I will falter.
I will deny you. I will betray you.
Three times ten thousand times
I will deny you.
The silver pieces lie in my pocket.
I have the nails.
And you, knowing, invite me to your table,
to the place of honor even,
this seat of greatest grace,
beside you,
to share your bread with me,
and lay down your body for me.
I can hardly look into the sun
of such forgiveness,
love’s empty tomb
that defeats me,
re-makes me.

I confess. I return.
Knowing, I follow,
drawn in your grace,
this burden that is light.
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)

Lord, your love is broken open
among cheering crowds and traitor’s coins,
deserting friends and hands washed clean,
the mockery of power and the baying mob:
as we follow your way of passion,
give us the faith
to bring our hearts to the foot of the cross
and the door of the guarded tomb
that they might be opened,
astonished and healed;
through Jesus Christ, who carries the weight of the world. Amen.
(Source: Steven Shakespeare, Prayers for an inclusive church)

“Have you come out with swords and clubs  to arrest me as though I were a bandit?” Matthew 26.55
I pray for you, Christ, arrested in the night.
I pray for you, held without bail.
I pray for you profiled, tasered, detained,
dragged out by force with my silent blessing.

I pray for you, Christ, tortured and beaten.
I pray for you Christ, held in my prisons,
my Correctional Facility, our Guantanamo.

And how many of you, Christ,
are in prisons without walls,
in cells of fear, of abuse, of shame?
How many innocent?
How many twisted not by your own choosing?

(I pray for you, Curtis, and your children.
I pray for you, Juanita, and your baby)*

You, too, are God’s Beloved.
You all are divine.
Christ, I pray for you all,
and whatever we do to the least of you,
in all of your shackles.

Today, we are with you, in paradise….
(Source: Steve Garnaas-Holmes, Unfolding Light)
* In Australia, the shame of long term detention in immigration processing centres continues to be a focus, and names may be added here to particularise the prayer.

The Last Supper 
They are assembled, astonished and disturbed
round him, who like a sage resolved his fate,
and now leaves those to whom he most belonged,
leaving and passing by them like a stranger.
The loneliness of old comes over him
which helped mature him for his deepest acts;
now will he once again walk through the olive grove,
and those who love him still will flee before his sight.
To this last supper he has summoned them,
and (like a shot that scatters birds from trees)
their hands draw back from reaching for the loaves
upon his word: they fly across to him;
they flutter, frightened, round the supper table
searching for an escape. But he is present
everywhere like an all-pervading twilight-hour.
(Source: Rainer Maria Rilke)

Maundy Thursday reflective service
(a reflective service at Pilgrim Uniting Church)
Click on ‘continue reading’ below for full script

(* FREE Maundy Thursday Agape Liturgy. This booklet has been produced by St Andrews Episcopal Church Seattle WA and has been made available with the kind permission of Cherry Hairston as a free download in the Godspace store)

Craig Mitchell’s communion liturgy – see ‘Communion‘ listing. 

A short communion for Maundy Thursday by John van de Laar

Wellsprings contemplative liturgy for Maundy Thursday.

Footwashing – prayers and resources on re-Worship (Christine Longhurst)

Maundy Thursday
In a photographic series, Gods of Suburbia, Dina Goldstein examines the role of faith in our modern society. She takes traditional religious and mythological iconography — everyone from Jesus to Buddha — and plunks them into today’s world in order to explore how they intertwine. Perhaps the most jarring photo in the group is “Last Supper, East Vancouver,” a Downtown Eastside twist on Leonardo da Vinci’s classic painting. Instead of a feast, there are empty beer cans and soup in plastic bowls.
As Goldstein describes on her website: “My reenactment of history’s most famous dinner party is meant to portray the treatment of the most vulnerable by society. I have placed Jesus and his Apostles, a street gang, specifically in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. This is Canada’s poorest postal code and a place of chronic drug abuse, alcohol addiction and mental illness. Jesus and the Apostles consume the diet of street people: cheap packaged noodles, cheap beer and canned tuna, while Judas plots his betrayal of Jesus. In Vancouver, so much money has flowed into the Downtown Eastside, but it is still a place of violence, addiction and homelessness. Like Judas, who betrayed Jesus for money, many have benefitted from initiatives to help Vancouver’s poor, yet the poor still have nothing”.
(Source: Huffington Post)

last supper east vancouver
A Call to Worship, Maundy Thursday B 2015
(based on Psalm 116: 1-2, 12-19)
Glorious God, because of all that we have been throughout our past,
we give thanks!
I will give thanks and worship the Lord my God
because of all your past mercies.

Holy God, because of all that we are now: our body, mind and spirit,
we give you thanks!
I will always love and give thanks to the Lord my God,
because of your blessings.

Guiding God, because of all that we will be into the unknown future,
we give you thanks!
Because of all the blessings and mercies I have known in my lifetime;
and because I know that my God always hears my prayers,
so I will always offer the gift of thankfulness.
We know that our God hears our prayers,
and so we will always give our God our thanks.
(Source: Joan Stott)

Great God, your love has called us here (Common Praise #133)
Great God, your love has called us here
as we, by love, for love were made.
Your living likeness still we bear,
though marred, dishonored, disobeyed.
We come, with all our heart and mind,
your call to hear, your love to find.

We come with self-inflicted pains
of broken trust and chosen wrong;
half-free, half-bound by inner chains;
by social forces swept along,
by powers and systems close confined;
yet seeking hope for humankind.

Great God, in Christ you call our name
and then receive us as your own
not through some merit, right, or claim,
but by your gracious love alone.
We strain to glimpse your mercy seat
and find you kneeling at our feet.

Then take the towel, and break the bread,
and humble us, and call us friends.
Suffer and serve till all are fed,
and show how grandly love intends
to work till all creation sings,
to fill all worlds, to crown all things.

Great God, in Christ you set us free,
your life to live, your joy to share.
Give your Spirit’s liberty
to turn from guilt and dull despair
and offer all that faith can do
while love is making all things new.

(Words: Brian Wren. Music: St. Petersburg, Abingdon, Ryburn
Words © 1977, rev. 1995 by Hope Publishing Co)

Bowl and towel, and candle

Running sheet and script for Pilgrim UC Maundy Thursday service 2017
Word and PDF format. Resource available to use freely (but we’d love to know if you use it). Maundy Thursday 2017 running sheet PDF version   Maundy Thursday 2017 script

Maundy Thursday reflective service 2015
(a reflective service at Pilgrim Uniting Church)
Several candles are placed around the sanctuary space on plinths/stands, which will be lit during the service and then extinguished at the end. A long rectangular table is set up at the front, with space for 13 chairs. The central chair has purple cloth draped on it. At each place, a chalice/goblet and a plate are set. A large pitcher of wine/grape juice and a large loaf of bread are placed in the centre. There is one central candle on the table in front of the chair with the purple cloth that is lit to begin the service. People sit in pews/chairs for most of the service, and are invited (towards the end of the service) to come forward in groups of 12 (no usher needed, people will wait until there’s a space) to sit at the long table and to partake of the bread and juice/wine.


This service has a lot of reflective silence and contemplative music in it.

Narrator: Now, the Festival of Unleavened Bread, known as Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the doctors of the law were trying to devise some means of doing away with him for they were afraid of the people.

Pause (with reflective music – about 2 minutes). A candle is lit.

Narrator: Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve, thinking that he knew what was needed to achieve success went to the chief priests and officers of the Temple police to discuss ways and means of putting Jesus into their power. They were greatly pleased and undertook to pay a sum of money. He agreed and began to look out for an opportunity to betray Jesus to them.

Action: Silver coins are placed on the stand/plinth #1 and the candle is lit.

Pause: (with reflective music – about 2 minutes). A candle is lit.

Minister: Are there ways that we give up on Jesus’ vision? An extended silence

Narrator: Then came the day of the Passover ritual which celebrated God’s saving grace. Jesus sent Peter and John with instructions to go and prepare for the Passover Supper. They asked how might  they make preparation? Jesus told them all they needed to know and they went and found everything as he had said. So they
prepared the Passover meal.

Pause: (with reflective music – about 2 minutes). A candle is lit.

Minister: How might we make ready for the sacred? An extended silence

Narrator: During supper, Jesus, mindful of all that had been asked of him and all that he and the disciples had shared, and of the path still before him, rose from the table, laid aside his garments, and taking a towel, tied it round him. Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash his disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel. When it was Simon Peter’s turn, Peter could not understand Jesus’ action, and was unwilling for Jesus to wash his feet.

Jesus: If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.

Action: The basin and towel on placed on stand/plinth #2 and the candle is lit.

Pause (with reflective music – about 2 minutes).

Minister: Are we willing to accept grace without conditions? An extended silence

Jesus: Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me ‘Master’ and ‘Lord’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Then if I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example: you are to do as I have done for you.

Narrator: After washing their feet and taking his garments again, he sat down.

Pause (with reflective music – about 2 minutes). A candle is lit.

Narrator: Then during supper Jesus took bread, and having said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples.

Jesus: Take this and eat: this is my body.

Action: Minister breaks the bread (Matzos) and distributes some to each plate on the table.

Narrator: Then he took a cup and having offered thanks to God, he gave it to them.

Jesus: Drink from it all of you. Remember me as you drink from this, for it is my life, poured out for you – the beginning of a new relationship with God.

Action: Minister pours wine into a goblet on each table.

Minister: Will we accept the invitation to participate in this new relationship with God? A silence is held.

Minister: All is ready. Come and share in this our celebration of the Last Supper.

Silence while communion is shared at each table. People move forward in groups of 12 and take a place at the table (not using the central chair with the purple cloth). In their own time, people break the bread/Matzos and eat, and then drink from the goblet. They spend some time in quiet reflection, before leaving the table and making space for a new group to come forward. No words are spoken – the action is done is silence, for as long as it takes for all to come to the table. Once activity has ceased and all is quiet, soft music played for a minute or so.

Narrator: After the meal, Jesus was deeply troubled in spirit.

Jesus: Tonight you will all fall from your faith on my account.

Narrator: Peter protested that he would never fall away. But Jesus predicted that before the next day began Peter would deny him three times. Peter and all the disciples said they would never disown him.

All candles are extinguished, one by one, other than the one at the centre of the table.

Soloist: ‘When pain and terror would strike by chance’.
(vv1, 2 and 4, Together in Song 262)

Narrator: After they had finished their supper, they went out to the Mount of

Final candle is extinguished. Reflective music. People leave in silence in their own time. Lights can be brought on, at a dim setting, to enable safe exiting the church.

Maundy Thursday Liturgy by John Sumwalt
The service is based on Matthew 26, the account of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples and his night of prayer and anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest.

Enter In Silence

Prelude: “Christus, der ist mein Leben” Vulpius/McIntyre

Call To Worship
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples,
“As you know, the Passover is two days away. And the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified. Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. “But not during the Feast,” they said, “or there may be a riot among the people.” (Matthew 26:1-5)

Song “Come Share the Lord” No. 2269

Jesus Anointed at Bethany
While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table. When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. I tell you the truth, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Song “You Are Mine” No. 2218

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
Then one of the Twelve–the one called Judas Iscariot–went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

Preparing For the Passover Meal
On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?” He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ ” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

Offertory “The Journey” Arnold Sherman

Leader: We will follow the candle bearers to the Fellowship Hall where we will gather at tables to break bread and drink from the cup in memory of Jesus. We will sing as we go…

Song “Jesus Remember me When You Come into Your Kingdom…” No. 488

The Last Supper
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me. ”They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?” Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you”. While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 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 of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.

The oldest person at the table will pray the following prayer:
O Christ, in your presence we discover who we are. You serve us and we learn how reluctant we are to serve one another. Even as you prepare to give yourself for the sake of the world, we are still seeking promotions and possessions. Our love scarcely suffices to fulfill the requirements of good manners, and yet you invite us to eat with you at your table. Forgive us, and help us to value your presence more dearly, that we may find this meal to be a celebration of joy.

People: “In the name of Christ, you are forgiven! Amen!”

The youngest child, who is able and willing, will take bread, break off piece and give it to the person on the right, saying, “This is the body of Christ.” That person will say “Amen,” eat the bread, then take the loaf and repeat the same with the person on his or her right until all are served.

The oldest person will then take the tray of cups, pick up one cup, and as it is passed to the person on the right, say, “This is the Blood of Christ.” The person receiving will say “Amen!” and repeat the same with the person on the right.

The youngest child & the oldest person will then lead the group in praying this prayer:

Leader: Let us pray together:
“We thank you, O God, for your mighty acts of deliverance, when you enable us to cross from despair to hope, from brokenness to wholeness, from death to life. We thank you for the deep love of Jesus, which moved him to risk himself for the redemption of humanity; and for the grace we experience in receiving these symbols of the life he gave. Through lives given over in commitment to you, make us worthy of this great love. Amen”.

Leader: When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ” ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee. “Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times. ”But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray. “He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will. “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ”Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. ”When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Jesus Arrested
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

At that time Jesus said to the crowd,
“Am I leading a rebellion that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?
Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me.
But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”
Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Depart Singing “Jesus Remember me When You Come into My Kingdom…”

The Night You Were Arrested
AURELIA D (“The Church’s One Foundation”)

The night you were arrested, you told us to recall
the bread, your body broken, the wine, poured out for all.
You told them, “Take and eat it,” and in that time and place
you gave to all creation the wonders of God’s grace.

That night you sat at table and looked around at friends;
you talked about forgiveness and how God’s love extends.
You surely tried to teach them, to help them see anew,
the joy of God’s salvation that comes to us, through you.

This night we come together to worship and to pray.
We hear your love’s commandment; we seek to learn your Way.
May bread and cup now give us the strength we need to be
your church, your loving body, in this community.

Biblical Reference: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864
Text: Copyright © 2019 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:


We Gather At Your Table, Lord
TALLIS’ CANON (“All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night”)

We gather at your table, Lord:
We humbly lift our hearts to you!
Here all are welcomed, all restored,
And all are given work to do.

We share this meal and we are fed.
Such basic gifts become your sign:
We see you broken in the bread;
We know your love in common wine.

God, pour your Spirit on us all,
And on these gifts that we receive;
For in Christ’s presence we recall
His life and death, and so believe.

From North and South, from West and East,
Now reconciled, we gather near;
We taste your Kingdom’s banquet feast,
So finding strength to serve you here.

Biblical References: 1 Corinthians 10:16-17, 11:26; Matthew 26:26-29
Tune: Thomas Tallis, 1561
Text: Copyright © 1999 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Copied from “Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship” by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Geneva Press).
Email: New Hymns:


In This Room, a Towel and Basin
GALILEE (“Jesus Calls O’er The Tumult”)

In this room, a towel and basin
Stand as gifts we don’t deserve.
Christ, you humbly knelt to use them;
Showing us the way to serve.

On a table, set for dinner
Are your gifts of wine and bread.
Christ, you give to every sinner
Food and love, till all are fed.

From you, Lord, we hear a teaching:
“Now I give a new command.
Love as I have loved, out-reaching!
Then the world will understand!”

Basin, supper, word and witness —
Then a cross — revealed your Way.
May we put our faith in practice,
Humbly serving you each day.

Biblical References: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Tune: William H. Jude, 1877
Text: Copyright © 2018 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

See also Year C Maundy Thursday

In 2021, Maundy Thursday falls on April Fools’ Day, April 1st.
(adapted from John van de Laar)
This might be a surprising lens to consider the ‘foolishness of Christ’ taking on the role of a servant and washing the feet of his disciples, and the foolishness of following Christ in the ways and values of God’s upside-down Realm. The archetype of the Fool is an important and subversive one, since the fool, traditionally, was the only person who could speak truth to power. The musical Godspell portrayed this through dressing Jesus up in clown make-up and clothing. Rather than being an irreverent and mocking way of thinking of Christ, the fool image is a prophetic and transforming way of encountering Christ’s message and work, This is actually the wisest way to live and offers real strategies for addressing our world’s crises, and the seeming wisdom of the world’s systems which are, in fact, fostering inequality, injustice, climate change, ethnic and religious violence, and fragmentation of our world and societies. When the simplicity, humility, generosity, compassion, justice, and grace of Christ are fully embraced – as foolish as these qualities may seem in today’s competitive world – the impact on our world is life-giving, healing and peace-making. The question we need to face is whether we are willing to become fools for the sake of the Gospel – and for the healing of our world. (John van de Laar, Sacredise)


See also Year C Maundy Thursday


About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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