Lectionary - Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) Year A
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Exodus 12: 1-4 (5-10) 11-14 Instruction to observe the Passover
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 I will lift up the cup of salvation
1 Cor 11:23-26 The tradition of the Lord's Supper
John 13:1-17, 31b-35 Jesus washed his disciples feet; love one another

Additional readings

Old Testament background
Exodus 16:13-15,31 Manna from heaven

Jesus presents himself as the new manna from heaven
John 6:1-15 The feeding of the five thousand
John 6:25-38 I am the bread of life come down from heaven
John 6:48-51 The bread I give for the life of the world is my own flesh

The institution of the Lord's Supper
Matthew 26:17-30 The last supper

His continuing presence at the breaking of the bread
Luke 24:28-35 How he was made know to them in the breaking of the bread
John 21:9-17 Feeding the sheep

Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia.)
SA 29 Eat this bread, drink this cup
SA 95 Where love and lovingkindness dwell
11 Let us with a gladsome mind
253 Ah, holy Jesus, how has thou offended
264 Ride on, ride on in majesty
350 God merciful and righteous is [Ps 116:5,12-19 Scottish Psalter]
428 Come, Holy Ghost, your influence shed
431 How happy are thy servants, Lord / who thus remember thee!
433 Let us break bread together with the Lord
434 Bread of heaven, on thee we feed
437 Bread of the world in mercy broken
451 Lord Jesus Christ / you have come to us
452 I come with joy to meet my Lord
453 An upper room did our Lord prepare
478 Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
561 Kneels at the feet of his friends
571 A new commandment I give unto you

A note about Maundy Thursday
A special celebration of our Lord's institution of the Eucharist on the Thursday before Easter has been known from early centuries. The Last Supper is remembered not as the Jewish Passover which Jesus celebrated but as the Lord's Supper into which he transformed it for his disciples, so that instead of celebrating the escape from slavery in Egypt it became a celebration of his passing over from death to life in which his followers can share. Today we concentrate on the meaning and development of the Lord's Supper, showing its background in the Jewish Passover, the practice of giving thanks to God, the feeding of the people in the wilderness, the teaching of Jesus, the Last supper and the common meals that Jesus had with his disciples, and the early experience of his presence at such meals after he rose from the dead.

The ceremonial washing of feet, which we have not repeated tonight, used to conclude the ceremonies of Holy Thursday, which became known as Maundy Thursday because of a phrase in the latin service mandatum novum do vobis (A new commandment I give unto you. -- John 13:34): dies mandatum became `day of maundy'. So the sign of service to one another that Jesus gave, saying `you also ought to wash one another's feet', was linked with his new commandment (mandatum) for the unity of the whole church: 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 love one another. -- John 13:34-35. So the emphasis with which we conclude is on the new commandment.

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A Service of Readings and Remembrance

CALL TO WORSHIP
What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, -- Psalms 116:12-13
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD. Praise the LORD! -- Psalms 116:17-19

HYMN 350 God merciful and righteous is [Ps 116:5,12-19 Scottish Psalter]

THE ORIGINS OF THE LAST SUPPER

Reading 1. Exodus 12: 1-4 (5-10) 11-14: The Jewish Passover Feast

The Last Supper was made into the Lord's Supper after the disciples met the risen Lord. We celebrate the Eucharist only in the resurrection faith, through which we see the significance of what Jesus did at the Last Supper and which we will recall tonight. Let us now, then, confess that faith, in the words of scripture which are called the Easter anthems:
For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. -- 1 Corinthians 5:7-8
Alleluia!

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died, he died to sin, once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. -- Romans 6:9-11
Alleluia!

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ. -- 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
Alleluia!

PRAYER OF ADORATION

PRAYER OF CONFESSION [Three parts concluding]
... Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
... Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
... Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.

DECLARATION OF FORGIVENESS:
He prayed for God to forgive those who killed him. Hear then Christ's word of grace to us: Your sins are forgiven.
Thanks be to God.

HYMN 451 Lord Jesus Christ / you have come to us

THE BREAD THAT CAME DOWN FROM HEAVEN

In the Old Covenant
Reading 2. Exodus 16:13-15,31 Manna from heaven

REFLECTION

In the New Covenant
Reading 3. John 6:1-15 The feeding of the five thousand

HYMN 452 I come with joy to meet my Lord

Jesus presents himself as the new manna from heaven
Reading 4. John 6:25-38 I am the bread of life come down from heaven

MEDITATION

Reading 5. John 6:48-51 The bread I give for the life of the world is my own flesh

HYMN 434 Bread of heaven, on thee we feed

THE LAST SUPPER

Reading 6. Matthew 26:17-30 The last supper

REFLECTION

His continuing presence at the breaking of the bread
Reading 7. Luke 24:28-35 He was made know to them in the breaking of the bread
Reading 8. John 21:9-17 Feeding the sheep

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[After each part] ..... Lord in your mercy,
Hear our prayer.

OFFERING

The Lord's Supper

THE PEACE
HYMN SA 29 Eat this bread, drink this cup

NARRATIVE OF THE INSTITUTION 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
GREAT PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you. And also with you.
Lift up your hearts. We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

Thanks and praise ..... in the eternal hymn:
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.

We thank you ....
[The great prayer of thanksgiving continues, recalling God's goodness in caring for his people, the life and saving work of our Lord Jesus Christ, how he commanded his disciples to remember him with the bread and the wine, and we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit on us and what we do.]

THE LORD'S PRAYER
BREAKING THE BREAD
LAMB OF GOD
Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, redeemer of the world, grant us peace.

COMMUNION
Reading 9. John 13:1-17 Jesus washed his disciples feet
34-35 A new commandment

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION

The Sending Forth of the People of God

HYMN 571 A new commandment I give unto you
BLESSING

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