MAUNDY THURSDAY An Order for The Evening Meal

What is Maundy Thursday?

Maundy Thursday is the day in Holy Week (the week preceding Easter Sunday) that the Church recalls Jesus' last night on earth. He washes his disciple's feet-something a servant would do. He shares a meal with them. And he gives them a commandment to "love one another." The word "Maundy" comes from an ancient word that means "commandment."

Our observation this evening will be around the evening meal that will happen in our homes. What follows is a brief meditation from Pastor Anthony reflection on John 13:1-15 and I Corinthians 11:23-26.

Rituals in church have included foot washing and Holy Communion, and in some places, a stripping of the altar leaving it bare and sparse as a way to emotionally enter the space of Jesus' last night on earth.

Though we can not celebrate Holy Communion or foot washing, you can make your evening meal special as way of dining with Christ.

A window on Trinity's east facade depicting the Last Supper.

The first Christians would gather regularly to share a meal with one another and they came to be called "love feasts." Agapé is a New Testament Greek word that means "love." On the night we remember Christ's command to his disciples-to us, it is appropriate that we share a meal of love.

Whether your live alone or have a house full, you can make a special meal and say special prayers, and read the Scriptures. Remember that you are in the presence of God, and you can dine with the living Christ.

Agapé for Maundy Thursday*

A meatless meal is to be preferred. The setting should be austere and the foods sparse and simple. Appropriate foods include soup, cheese, olives, dried fruit, bread, and wine.

If there are several persons present, one will preside.

+ The Blessings +

At the time appointed, all gather around the table, standing as able.

After a time of silence, the presider offers the following blessings.

A Blessing over Wine

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe. You create the fruit of the vine; and you refresh us with the cup of salvation in the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. May the time come quickly when we can share that cup again, even as you are with us now in our very thirst for you. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

A Blessing over Bread

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth; and on this night you have given us the bread of life in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ. As grain scattered upon the earth is gathered into one loaf, so gather your Church in every place into the kingdom of your Son. To you be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.

A Blessing over Other Foods

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You have blessed the earth to bring forth food to satisfy our hunger. Let this food strengthen us in the fast that is before us, that following our Savior in the way of the cross, we may come to the joy of his resurrection. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and for ever. Amen.

+ The Meal +

The meal is now eaten. If several are gathered, they first serve one another, then dine.

Some of the congregation of Trinity Church celebrating the one-year pastoral anniversary of The Rev. Anthony Estes.

+ The Word and the Prayers +

During the meal or toward its close, the seventeenth chapter of the gospel of John is read. Or you may view this video.

Take a moment to reflect on the reading.

Then read Psalm 63:1-8 or you may watch the video below featuring a cover of "Jesus is Love" by The Commodores.

To conclude the evening, say the following prayer.

O God of the crucified and risen One, from whom no trial or trouble can separate us: you feed us with your Word and sooth us with your Spirit, closer to us than breath itself. Make us glad this night for the life of your servant Jesus; make us servants of all for the sake of Jesus; who for our sake gave his life for the salvation of all. In the name of Jesus, your Son, our Lord. Amen.

*From the Book of Occasional Services 2018, adapted/edited by the Rev. Dr. James Farwell and Dr. Lisa Kimball for use when Maundy Thursday Eucharist is not possible. Appropriate adaptations for illness in the household can be made.


Created with images by Vladimir Soares - "Stained glass windows of the Don Bosco church in Brasília, capital of Brazil" • pepe nero - "Dinnerware setup" • Terry Vlisidis - "A tilted wine glass having red nectar poured into. Have you ever thought: "When is the best moment in anything ? ". Is it not that the best moment of your vacation is when you lock the front door of your house and turn your back to it ? Every subsequent moment just brings you closer to the end of the vacation. Drinking wine is no different. Pouring wine in the glass is the peek moment of the ceremony. After that, every drop you drink degrades your glass to an emptier one. That is of course until you fill it up again. But then is it not that you just get a new peek moment of a new ceremony ?. " • Wesual Click - "Here you can see the crispy, wonderful smelling Franziskaner-loaf and rye whole-grain tin loaf all baked by Franziskaner bakery in Bozen (Italy)" • Edgar Castrejon - "Yogurt Bowl"