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Holy Communion for Maundy Thursday

Join in an act of Spiritual Communion on Maundy Thursday, remembering Christ’s call to loving service and his institution of Holy Communion

Maundy Thursday marks the beginning of the Triduum – the great three day service which recalls the Last Supper, the Agony of our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane, his Trial before Pilate and his Crucifixion. The Triduum ends with the Easter Vigil and our celebration of Christ’s triumphant resurrection.

On Maundy Thursday we remember Christ’s call to service. Traditionally, this is the service when the priest washes the feet of the congregation, recalling Christ’s act of love and service to his disciples. We remember the giving of the new commandment to love one another just as Christ has loved us. We remember the institution of Holy Communion.

Then, at the end of this service the altars are stripped and all adornments are removed from the sanctuary. There is no blessing or dismissal because this service does not end until our celebration of the Resurrection.

This year is different, of course. There can be no foot washing and our communion will be a Spiritual Communion. But … we can still recall the Last Supper and the giving of that new commandment of love and service. We can pray for each other and, in our own small ways live out Christ’s call in our lives.

On Good Friday there will be a longer service of Daily Prayer on this website. This will incorporate the reading of Psalm 22, the reading of the Passion according to John, and the solemn intercessions associated with Good Friday.

On Holy Saturday there will be a meditation on the meaning of the crucifixion as we wait with the disciples through a day of emptiness and desolation.

On Easter Day there will be a service of Holy Communion as we celebrate Christ’s victory over the grave.

Although we are not able to gather in our Churches in these coming Holy Days, I do hope and pray that you will find spiritual comfort and consolation in the services being made available for you through this website.

The Greeting

In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. 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.

Have mercy on us, O God,
in your great goodness;
according to the abundance of your compassion
blot out our offences.
Lord, have mercy.

Against you only have we sinned
and done what is evil in your sight.
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.

May the Father forgive us by the death of his Son
and strengthen us to live in the power of the Spirit
all our days. Amen.

Gloria in Excelsis

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

God our Father,
your Son Jesus Christ was obedient to the end
and drank the cup prepared for him:
may we who share his table
watch with him through the night of suffering
and be faithful.
Amen.

Old Testament Reading

A reading from the book of Exodus.

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.  Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbour in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.

This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly.  It is the passover of the LORD.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgements: I am the LORD.

The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. 

This day shall be a day of remembrance for you.  You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

This is the word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Epistle

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.

Beloved: 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, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you.  Do this in remembrance of me.’

In 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.’

For 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.
Thanks be to God.

Gospel Reading

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

Now 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.  The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him.

And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then 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.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I 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, ‘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.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’

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?  You call me Teacher and Lord – and you are right, for that is what I am.  So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.  Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.  If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.  Little 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.”

‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

This is the Gospel of the Lord.

It is at this point in the service, having heard the reading of the Holy Gospel, that the priest would normally kneel and wash the feet of those present.

Prayers of Intercession

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

Father, on this, the night he was betrayed, your Son Jesus Christ washed his disciples’ feet. We commit ourselves to follow his example of love and service.

On this night, he prayed for his disciples to be one. We pray for the unity of your Church.

On this night, he prayed for those who were to believe through his disciples’ message. We pray for the mission of your Church.

On this night, he commanded his disciples to love, but suffered rejection himself. We pray for the rejected and unloved.

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.

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.

In a moment of stillness let us offer the prayers that are on our own hearts at this time.

Merciful Father,
accept these prayers
for the sake of your Son,
our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.

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.

Preparation of the Table

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this bread to set before you,
which earth has given and human hands have made.
It will become for us the bread of life.
Blessed be God for ever.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation:
through your goodness we have this wine to set before you,
fruit of the vine and work of human hands.
It will become for us the cup of salvation.
Blessed be God for ever.

The Eucharistic Prayer

The Lord is here.
His Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
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:

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, which was this night,
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.

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 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.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

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,
we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Giving of Communion

Lord, I am not worthy to receive you,
but only say the word and I shall be healed.

Today the priest receives communion for and on behalf of all those to whom they minister.

This is a time when you are invited to make your own Spiritual Communion.

Prayer after Communion

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.
Amen.

Our service ends at this point.

This is when the altars of our churches would be stripped, while Psalm 22 is recited.

We would then be invited to spend time in Vigil with Our Lord as he endures the Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane before his betrayal and arrest.

We come together again tomorrow to recall the Crucifixion.