Maundy Thursday – Years A, B and C

Here are the resources you need for Maundy Thursday. Please feel free to choose what is suitable for your congregation’s needs. You will notice that the orders of service are available in different formats: choose the “pdf” format if you want something that is ready to print and photocopy, the “doc” or “rtf” format if you wish to change the formatting yourself or the “ppt” format if you use PowerPoint.

Notes on Foot Washing

The foot-washing, although usually reserved for the pastor when he is present, may, in his absence, take on a different meaning. Rather than have just one person doing the foot-washing, several congregation members may do this task for their fellow members. Perhaps congregational leaders (eg elders/church council members) may do this task. Alternatively, family members may wash the feet of others in their family. Use your imagination on this. What is suitable in one place may not be suitable in another.

If everyone is invited to have their feet washed, then they will need to have been warned beforehand that they will be invited to participate, so that they are able to wear shoes that are easily removed. Women in particular will find it hard to have their feet washed if they are wearing stockings. There must be no pressure on anyone to participate if they do not wish to do so.

Consider how the seating is arranged to enable the foot washing to occur. Before the service, prepare a bowl, a towel, and a jug of warm water. You may wish to put on an plain apron- avoid using fancy or patterned aprons.

  • Altar colour: White
  • Bible readings:
    FIRST READING  Exodus 12:1-4 (5-10) 11-14 The institution of the Passover
    PSALM Psalm 116:1,2,12-19 *For musical settings of this Psalm, please see the song suggestions below*
    SECOND READING 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 The institution of the Lord’s supper
    GOSPEL John 13:1-17, 31b-35 Jesus washes his disciple’s feet
  • Sermons:
    Lay-readers please note: the linked sermons have not been edited for general use. As part of your preparations, keep in mind that they have been written for specific people in a specific context, and for this reason the issues they address or the examples they use may not be entirely suitable for people in your congregation. If you feel this is the case, you may need to make minor adjustments or find another sermon

    Based on gospel: Pr Stephen Pietsch, edited for lay reading  sermon – john 13 1-17 31b-35 – year a – maundy thursday sermon – john 13 1-17, 31b-35 – year b – maundy thursday , sermon – john 13 1-17 – year a b c – maundy thursday
    Based on second reading: Pr Vince Gerhardy, Dr Vic Pfitzner, NEW Pr Vince Gerhardy
  • Orders of service:
    Word & Prayer- Maundy Thursday (pdf / doc / ppt )
    Service without communion (pdf / doc / ppt)
    Service orders with holy communion
    The first service – Maundy Thursday (word / ppt)
    Service with communion (page 6) (pdf / doc / ppt)
    Alternative form A (page 58) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
    Sing the Feast (Chataway) (pdf / doc/ ppt)
    Simplified Spoken (pdf / doc/ ppt)
  • Prayer of the Day (Collect): Choose one of the following
    O Lord Jesus Christ,
    since you have left us a memorial
    of your suffering and death
    in the mystery of your holy sacrament:
    Grant that we may so receive your body and blood
    that the fruits of your redemption
    may continually be revealed in us;
    for you live and reign
    with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    OR, modernised traditional
    Lord Jesus Christ,
    you have left us a memorial
    of your suffering and death
    in your holy sacrament.
    Nourish us with your body and blood,
    so that our lives may show the fruits
    of your redemption.
    For you live and reign
    with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    OR, alternative
    (Let us pray to receive life through the body and blood of Christ. [silence])
    Heavenly Father,
    your Son instituted his holy supper
    as our passover feast,
    and gave his life for us.
    Unite us all by faith in him,
    so that we who eat his body and drink his blood
    may pass with him from death to life,
    and serve one another.
    We ask this through your Son,
    Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    OR, new
    (Let us pray for strengthening through Christ’s body and blood. [silence])
    Jesus Christ our Saviour,
    thank you for giving your followers your holy supper
    to commemorate your suffering and death.
    Through your body and blood,
    revive our faith in you
    and increase our love to others.
    For you live and reign
    with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

  • Offering Prayer:
    Loving heavenly Father,
    lead us to follow the example of humble service
    given by your Son.
    Strengthen us through his body and blood
    to give ourselves to you
    and to those in need.
  • Prayer after the gospel:
    This is the gospel of the Lord.
    Praise to you, O Christ (, Lamb of God).
    Lord Jesus, thank you for loving us
    and giving your life in service for us.
    Help us to love and serve one another.
  • Resources for services with Holy Communion:
    The seasonal preface below is a modernised text for Holy Week recommended for use by the Department of Liturgics with all forms of the liturgy.

    It is indeed right and good,
    Lord God, holy Father,
    that we should at all times and in all places
    give thanks to you,
    through Jesus Christ our Lord.
    On the tree of the cross he gave salvation to all,
    so that, where death began,
    there life might be restored,
    and that the enemy,
    who by a tree once overcame,
    might by a tree be overcome.
    And so, with angels and archangels,
    and with all the company of heaven,
    we adore and praise your glorious name:

    If using the Service – Alternative Form, Sing the Feast, or Worship Today settings, the eucharistic prayer may be modified as follows:

    A. The Service—Alternative Form (also in the Sing the Feast settings).
    All praise and thanks be to you, eternal God, holy Father,
    together with your only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
    and the Holy Spirit, who unites your people in love.
    We thank you for creating all things.
    We thank you for calling and rescuing your chosen people.
    Above all we thank and praise you
    for keeping your promise to the people of old
    and sending your Son Jesus Christ.
    He became obedient to the point of death,
    even death on a cross.
    He has given this holy supper
    so that we may be assured of forgiveness of sins
    won through the sacrifice of his life.
    And so we remember
    his life, death, and resurrection for our salvation
    as he comes to us in this holy meal.
    Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

    B. Modern Liturgy (adapted from Worship Today).
    Gracious Father,
    we therefore remember the sacrifice of our Lord in celebration,
    as we receive his body and blood
    with this bread and wine.
    We rejoice to receive all that he has done for us
    in his life and death,
    his resurrection and ascension.
    We thank you that he became obedient to the point of death,
    even death on a cross,
    and that he has given this holy supper
    so that we may be assured of forgiveness of sins
    won through the sacrifice of his life.
    Fill us with your Holy Spirit,
    so that we who receive the body and blood of Christ
    may live as true members of the body of your Son.

    The following communion invitation may be used after the ‘Lamb of God’ and before the distribution.

    Every time we eat this bread and drink from this cup
    we proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
    (Thanks be to God.)
    Come, everything is ready.

    There is no post-communion canticle at this service. Once the communicants have been dismissed, the post-communion prayer is said and then the stripping of the altar begins.

    We give you thanks, almighty God,
    that you have refreshed us
    through this healing gift;
    and we pray that through it
    you would graciously strengthen us
    in faith toward you
    and in love toward one another.
    We ask this through your Son,
    Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and forever.

    Lord our God,
    pour out your rich blessing on us
    as we remember
    the suffering and death of your Son.
    Grant us pardon and comfort,
    so that we may be assured
    of our eternal salvation.
    We ask this through your Son,
    Jesus Christ our Lord,
    who lives and reigns
    with you and the Holy Spirit,
    one God, now and for ever.

  • Visual images for the day: His Word in Pictures
  • Song/Hymn suggestions: * =  Modernised version available (please click here to go to the Modernised hymns page) ;G3, G4 . . . =  Guitar chords available in the Music Package 3, 4 . . .; GS =  Guitar chords in the Supplement to LH
    First reading: Exodus 12:1-4(5-10)11-14

    48    Lamb of God most holy * G5
    89    Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands (esp v 3) * G5
    112    Hail Thou once despised Jesus (vv 1,2) G3 (mod TIS 373)
    847    The Lamb’s high banquet called to share (alt tune 227) G5
    349    There is a Redeemer
    364    Christ Jesus lay in death’s strong bands (does not contain original v 3)
    373    Hail, our once-despised Jesus

    Second reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-36

    85    According to Thy gracious word G5
    282    Draw nigh, and take the body of the Lord* (mod TIS 498)
    285    To Thy most holy supper, Lord* G5
    287    Deck thyself, my soul, in gladness* G5 (mod TIS 503)
    291    Thy table I approach* G5
    292    The death of Christ, our blessed Lord G5
    320    I come to Thee, O blessed Lord* G3
    837    Feed us now, Bread of life GS
    839    I come, invited by your Word G7
    846    The candles are lit GS
    848    With deep humility, O Lord G5
    69    Fill my house
    71    The candles are lit
    79    Feed us now
    170    Take this bread
    176    Take, eat, this is My body
    279    And so we meet again
    288    Take and eat
    374    Always remember me
    393    Real food, real drink
    397    Before I take (These I lay down)
    476    Here is bread
    478    This is the body
    479    For living, for dying
    560   Can we break bread together?
    571   On that final night
    498    Draw near and take the body of our Lord
    503    Robe yourself, my soul, in gladness
    510    My God, your table now is spread
    515    According to thy gracious word
    538    Feed us now
    540    Christians, lift your hearts and voices
    707    Bread is blessed and broken

    Gospel: John 13:1-17,31b -35

    295    O Lord, we praise Thee* G3
    344    Our God is love* G6
    356    Lord of glory, who hast bought us* G3
    381    O God our Father, throned on high G7
    853    A new commandment GS (see TIS 699)
    855    Brother, let me be your servant GS (mod TIS 650)
    65    A new commandment
    177    Love one  another
    191    Brother, let me be your servant
    261    The Servant King
    310    Yesu, Yesu
    340    Jesus was a servant
    373    Bound by love
    443    Like an angel
    473    Bread for the world
    571    On that final night
    256    From heaven you came
    434    Where there is charity and love
    534    Love is his word (esp vv 1-4,6)
    536    An upper room did our Lord prepare
    640    Yesu, Yesu
    648    Help us accept each other
    650    Brother, sister, let me serve you
    699    A new commandment

    The following songs in the ‘All Together’ books are suitable for this day:

    Individual absolution
    38    One by one you call us home
    225    Why do you love me?

    For the foot-washing
    65    A new commandment
    177    Love one another
    261    Servant King
    340    Jesus was a servant

    For the Lord’s supper
    71    Face to face
    77    God and man at table are sat down
    79    Feed us now
    167    I am the Bread of life
    170    Take this bread
    176     Take, eat, this is my body
    179    Come let us eat
    183    Look beyond the bread you eat
    279    The Lord’s Supper
    374    Always remember me
    393    Real food, real drink
    397    These I lay down
    472    As we take this bread
    473    Bread for the world
    476    Here is bread
    478    This is the body of Christ
    479    For living, for dying
    571    On that final night
    658   Jesus, You are the Bread
    659   Remember now, my children

    Stripping the altar
    275    In our darkness
    287    Stay here
    395    Stay with me

    Other songs with a Maundy Thursday theme
    135    Bitter was the night
    139    Christ humbled himself
    147    When our life began again
    184    Love is the law
    197    When I needed a neighbour
    310    Yesu, Yesu, fill us with your love
    344    The New Road (esp v 6)
    538   They went to the garden

    340    Before the cock crew twice
    434    Where there is charity and love
    501    Sing, my tongue, the Saviour’s glory
    524    Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest
    528    The Son of God proclaim
    536    An upper room did our Lord prepare
    608    Where cross the crowded ways of life
    640    Kneels at the feet of his friends

    PSALM 116: 1,2,12-19
    The following paraphrase of Psalm 116:1-4,12-19 by David Schütz may be sung either to the tune Melita (LH 400, TIS 138) or to the tune of the Song of Mary in the Modern Vespers of Worship Today. If reproducing this version, please put ‘Words (c) David Schütz’ at the beginning or the end of the psalm.

    I love the Lord! He hears my prayers,
    so all my life I’ll call on him.
    When snares of death entangled me,
    and pangs of hell laid hold of me,
    I called upon God’s holy name:
    ‘I beg you, Lord, to save my life!’

    What shall I offer to the Lord
    for all his goodness shown to me?
    I will lift up salvation’s cup
    and call upon God’s holy name,
    I’ll keep my promises to him
    among his people gathered here.

    O Lord, how dearly you are pained
    when one of your true people dies!
    I am your slave, your slavegirl’s child,
    so, Lord, I’ll serve you all my days.
    For you have freed me from the chains
    that made me captive to the grave.

    I pay my sacrifice of thanks,
    and call upon God’s holy name.
    I pay my vows unto the Lord
    among his people gathered here,
    here in the holy house of God,
    here in your midst, Jerusalem.

    Music Resources Vol. 3 – Psalm Settings : Psalm 116 p188 , Psalm 116 p189

    While the LCA does not necessarily endorse the content of these websites, you may find them helpful in your worship planning.
    Small Church Music: You can download mp3 and midi files of popular hymn tunes from this site.
    Together to Celebrate: lectionary based song and hymn suggestions from a variety of sources.
    Singing from the Lectionary: has song and hymn suggestions based on the RCL from other hymnals.
    Song Select: you can search for more contemporary songs by theme. If your congregation has a paid subscription you can also download sheet music.
    Hymns Without Words: mp3 downloads of hymn tunes.
    Song and Hymn Index. Contains all the indexes of the LHS and AT books in one Excel file. Download the file (zip file) here.
    Metrical Psalms
    by Dale Schoening : Psalms set to well known hymn tunes.

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