Lectionary -- Holy Thursday -- Year C

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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
Jeremiah 31:31-34 I will make a new covenant
Hebrews 10:12-18 The covenant made by Christ's offering
John 13:21-30; 36-38 One of you will betray me; prediction of Peter's denial
Luke 19:45-48 Jesus cleansing the temple and teaching while they plotted his death
Luke 20:20-26 Questions to catch him, paying taxes
Luke 21:1-4 The gifts of the people and the poor widow
Luke 21:37 to 22:6 Teaching continues and Judas arranges to betray him
Luke 22:7-13 Preparation for the Passover
Luke 22:14-23 The last supper and betrayal
Luke 22:24-27 The dispute about who is the greatest
Luke 22:39-46 Jesus prayed on the Mount of Olives
Luke 22:47-53; 54-62 The arrest; and Peter's denial

Suggested Hymns (From Denis Towner. TIS = Together in Song; AHB = Australian Hymn Book; SA = Sing Alleluia)
Hymns for Maundy Thursday
lesson hymn TIS AHB SA
E According to thy gracious word 515 436
G An upper room did our Lord prepare 536 453
Bread of the world in mercy broken 512 437
Brother sister, let me serve you 650 14
G By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered 617 13
Come risen Lord, and deign to be our guest 524 442
E Draw near and take the body of the Lord 498 C589
E Eat this bread; drink this cup 714 29
Feed us now, Bread of life 538
Ps God merciful and righteous is 350
God's Paschal Lamb is sacrificed for us 543
Here we adore you, hidden Saviour, Lord 500 [421]
Ps How can I repay the Lord R 71
How happy are thy servants, Lord 431
E I come with joy to meet my Lord 533 452
Ps I love the Lord who has heard my prayer 71
G Jesu Jesu, fill us with your love 640 561
E Jesus we thus obey 508 427
G Kneels at the feet of his friends 640 561
E Let us break bread together 511 433
Let us with a gladsome mind 83 11
G Lord Christ at you first eucharist you prayed 521 [443]
E Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us 526 451
G Love is his word, love is his way 534 C601
E My God your table now is spread 510 432
E Now my tongue, the mystery telling [331] 422
G O dearest Jesus, why aren't you acquitted 337 [254]
O God of Bethel, by whose hand 564 49
O love how deep, how broad, how high 194 6
G O Love that wilt not let me go 602 525
O sacred head sore wounded 339 255
Robe yourself, my soul, in gladness 503 [424]
E Sing my tongue the Saviour's glory 501 C592
E The Son of God proclaim 528 84
G There's a spirit in the air 414
There's a wideness in God's mercy 136 [72]
G Where there is charity and love 434 C591

Other Possible Hymns
(Numbers refer to The Australian Hymn Book and Sing Alleluia. TIS = Together in Song)
253 Ah, holy Jesus, how has thou offended
264 (TIS 348) Ride on, ride on in majesty
451 (TIS 526) Lord Jesus Christ / you have come to us
478 Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
571 (TIS 699) A new commandment I give unto you
SA 95 Where love and lovingkindness dwell

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A note about Maundy Thursday

This is a service of silent reflection on passages of scripture, with a little guidance on the origins of the Lord's Supper. It will be celebrated together with the Maundy rite of washing feet.

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 passover from death to life for us all. The ceremonial washing of feet used to conclude the ceremonies of Holy Thursday, typically at the service of compline, 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 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.

A note about foot washing

The ceremony of foot washing was traditionally held at the last time of prayer, compline, on Holy Thursday night, rather than with the Eucharist recollection of the Last Supper, but we have allowed the washing to conclude the Eucharistic service on this occasion. The basin, the water and the towel should be brought in and displayed in a clearly visible manner. The parts people play in an enactment of the scene as and after the John 13 is read need to be planned with some participants prepared beforehand, although an open invitation to others to take part might be given also, but if so it needs to be remembered that it is a matter of considerable sensitivity in which misunderstanding is possible and people can easily be embarrassed if they have not been prepared before in attitude and clothing. An important principle is that the minister or worship leader should not assume the role of only washing the feet of others, but should also accept washing by someone else - as with Peter it is the acceptance of a service done by another that is often felt most strongly - Jesus said, "You also ought to wash one another's feet". As used here the acts are performed in view of the congregation, beginning without announcement in the time of silent refection after the Luke reading, and concluding during the singing after the John reading. A brief recitation of selected words of John 13 may be added with actions which continue after the John reading is concluded and before the last song, as indicated.

Order of Service for Holy Thursday -- Year C - | DBHome | RCL Resources Index |

A Service of Readings and Remembrance

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 478 Guide me, O thou great Jehovah [verses 1 and 3]


Reading 1. Exodus 12: 1-4 (5-10) 11-14: The Jewish Passover Feast
Reading 2. Jeremiah 31:31-34: The promise of a new covenant

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 which we will recall tonight. Let us now, then, confess that faith, in the words of scripture:
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
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
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

HYMN 264 Ride on, ride on in majesty [verses 1, 2 and 5]


Reading 3. Luke 19:45-48 Jesus cleansing the temple; they plotted his death

Prayer of adoration
Our Lord Jesus, you went faithfully to Jerusalem, speaking with your disciples of your death, they welcomed you with the branches of celebration for the coming of a saviour, and only you understood that it was through the sacrifice of your death that the promise of salvation would be fulfilled.  Like the patriots of old you cleased the temple, they tried to trap you with questions as you taught, and you were betrayed on the night when you gave the symbols of your life with which to remember you at the table.  You washed their feet as an example of service to one another before you submitted to ultimate humiliation and cruel death.  Faithful servant of God and of your human brothers and sisters, we worship and adore you as our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Reading 4. Luke 20:20-26 Questions to catch him, paying taxes

Reflection [with spaced repetition of some key words from the reading]

Reading 5. Luke 21:1-4 The gifts of the people and the poor widow

Offering [Regular offering and other gifts to Lenten Appeal]

Reading 6. Luke 21:37 to 22:6 Teaching continues and Judas arranges to betray him

Prayer of confession
If we did not know you when we entered our city, or hear you when you spoke the words of life, Lord have mercy. Lord have mercy.
If our eyes were dim and we failed to understand when you broke the bread of life in our midst , or when you took the bowl and the towel to serve us, Christ have mercy. Christ have mercy.
If did not recognize you in the garden of our time and place, or see your face in the faces of our neighbours, 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 SA 95 Where love and lovingkindness dwell [verses 1, 2, 4 and 6]

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE  [with reference to special needs]
[After each part] ..... Lord in your mercy,  Hear our prayer.


Reading 7. Luke 22:7-13 Preparation for the Passover


The Lord's Supper

HYMN 453 An upper room did our Lord prepare [verses 1, 2 and 3]

Reading 8. Luke 22:14-23 The Last Supper and betrayal

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.]

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.


The Maundy Rite

Introduction [See notes above, may include an invitation to others to join in the foot washing]

Reading 9. Luke 22:24-27 The dispute about who is the greatest

Reflection: Foot washing begins [in silence, see note above]

Reading 10. John 13:1-17 Jesus washed his disciples feet

Reflection in drama
One whose feet are being washed may take the role of Peter and say [in a manner of protest]: "Are you going to wash my feet?"
And the one taking the servant role as Jesus replies, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
Then Peter: "You will never wash my feet."
Jesus: "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me."
Peter: "Then not my feet only but also my hands and my head!"

HYMN 561 Kneels at the feet of his friends Foot washing concludes

The Sending Forth of the People of God

WORD OF MISSION John 13: 33-35 ...love one another
HYMN 571 A new commandment I give unto you

Bind us together Lord
Bind us together Lord,
Bind us together with cords
that cannot be broken,
Bind us together Lord,
bind us together,
Bind us together with love.

There is only one God;
There is only one King;
There is only one body;
That is why I sing:

You are the family of God;
You are the promise divine;
You are God's chosen design;
You are the glorious new wine:

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