Thought for Maundy Thursday by Claire Dempster, St Catherine’s Preaching Team
Creating sacred space at home
Why not make a special place in your home to pray during Holy Week? You could put a bible, a candle, a picture or an icon in there.
For Maundy Thursday you could do some of these things:
- There are two key events we remember on Maundy Thursday – Jesus washing the disciples’ feet and the Last Supper. Why not put a bowl of water in your prayer space and think about acts of loving service.
- print out some pictures/paintings from Google images of The Last Supper
- light a candle and take 20 minutes out of your day to read the bible readings and pray
- create a piece of art in response to the readings
- Read the Gospel You could try reading it a few times slowly and pay attention to what speaks to you – be open to what God might say to you through the text. If you have children with you, you could try responding to the text in drama or some artwork.
- The Vigil – On Maundy Thursday there is a tradition of keeping watch with Jesus. Usually, we would sit and pray silently in the side chapel until 10pm. Could you stay up for an hour and sit very quietly with the Watch Readings and pray?
Maundy Thursday Bible Readings
Exodus 12. 1-4, 11-14
The First Passover Instituted
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.
1 Corinthians 11.23-26
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
For 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.
John 13. 1-17, 31-35
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
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.
The New Commandment
When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘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.
Prayers and Intercessions for Maundy Thursday
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.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you have taught us that what we do
for the least of our brothers and sisters we do also for you:
give us the will to be the servant of others as you were the servant of all,
and gave up your life and died for us,
but are alive and reign, now and for ever.
Please feel free to use your own words to pray for the world and all those who are suffering because of the Coronavirus.
You could also use the Intercessions for Coronavirus on the web site. You could also use these set intercessions below.
PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION FOR MAUNDY THURSDAY
In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father
through Christ the saviour of the world.
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. Lord, hear us and humble us.
On this night, he prayed for his disciples to be one. We pray for the unity of your Church.
Lord, hear us and unite us.
On this night, he prayed for those who were to believe through his disciples’ message. We pray for the mission of your Church.
Lord, hear us and renew our zeal.
On this night, he commanded his disciples to love, but suffered rejection himself.
We pray for the rejected and unloved. Lord, hear us and fill us with your love.
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. Lord, hear us and give us your peace.
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. Lord, hear us and welcome all your children into paradise.
Readings for the Maundy Thursday Watch
During the Vigil please remain silent and still at the Altar of Repose. Read the account of that night in Mark’s Gospel. Enter the story imaginatively in your head. Read it three times slowly and then enter the scene. Imagine the sights, the smells, think about who you are in this text. Use your thoughts as a basis of your prayers and reflection.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial
31 ‘Simon, Simon, listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, 32 but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’ 33 And he said to him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death!’ 34 Jesus said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the cock will not crow this day, until you have denied three times that you know me.’
Purse, Bag, and Sword
35 He said to them, ‘When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘No, not a thing.’ 36 He said to them, ‘But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, “And he was counted among the lawless”; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.’ 38 They said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ He replied, ‘It is enough.’
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
39 He came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples followed him. 40 When he reached the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’ 41 Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, 42 ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.’ 43 Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. 44 In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 45 When he got up from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping because of grief, 46 and he said to them, ‘Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not come into the time of trial.’
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; 48 but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?’ 49 When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, ‘Lord, should we strike with the sword?’50 Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched his ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? 53 When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!’
Peter Denies Jesus
54 Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house. But Peter was following at a distance. 55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.56 Then a servant-girl, seeing him in the firelight, stared at him and said, ‘This man also was with him.’ 57 But he denied it, saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ 58 A little later someone else, on seeing him, said, ‘You also are one of them.’ But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not!’ 59 Then about an hour later yet another kept insisting, ‘Surely this man also was with him; for he is a Galilean.’ 60 But Peter said, ‘Man, I do not know what you are talking about!’ At that moment, while he was still speaking, the cock crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.