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April 6th, 2023

Welcome to our Maundy Thursday liturgy page. We hope you and your household can make a meaningful observation of this day from the materials below.  Before getting started, please take a moment to gather communion elements. Any food and drink will suffice.

Opening Prayer


We cry to the Spirit of Christ,
who takes on flesh
and moves among us.

Save us!!
From our struggle to believe
we have what we need
to manifest Christ in our lives
and create a different way of living together.

You free us from traps of guilt. 
You show us the way of liberation
that welcomes all who desire justice and healing.
Your grace leads us in learning and unlearning.
You manifest both softly and fiercely.
Your Love is a catalyst that opens possibilities 
we cannot yet imagine.
Turn us towards each other.
Our salvation is collective.


Scripture Reading - John 13:1-17

Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal.

Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Master, you wash my feet?”

Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.”

Peter persisted, “You’re not going to wash my feet—ever!”

Jesus said, “If I don’t wash you, you can’t be part of what I’m doing.”

“Master!” said Peter. “Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!”

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) 


After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.


Then he said, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You address me as ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and rightly so. That is what I am. So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other’s feet. I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. I’m only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn’t give orders to the employer. If you understand what I’m telling you, act like it—and live a blessed life.

Invoking Empathy Responsive Reading

Empathy means understanding someone else the way they want to be understood.
Christ knew the way.

By disrobing and bending down to wash Peter’s feet,
Christ showed us the way.

By overturning the Teacher-Student hierarchy,
Christ showed us the way.

By telling the disciples than no one is ranked above another,
Christ showed us the way.

Even in the hour of his betrayal,
Christ showed us the way.


Scripture Reading - John 13:18-35

“I’m not including all of you in this. I know precisely whom I’ve selected, so as not to interfere with the fulfillment of this Scripture:

The one who ate bread at my table will stab me in the back.

“I’m telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am. Make sure you get this right: Receiving someone I send is the same as receiving me, just as receiving me is the same as receiving the One who sent me.”

After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. “One of you is going to betray me.”

The disciples looked around at one another, wondering who on earth he was talking about. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder. Peter motioned to him to ask who Jesus might be talking about. So, being the closest, he said, “Master, who?”

Jesus said, “The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I’ve dipped it.” Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. As soon as the bread was in his hand, Satan entered him.

“What you must do,” said Jesus, “do. Do it and get it over with.”

No one around the supper table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas was their treasurer, Jesus was telling him to buy what they needed for the Feast, or that he should give something to the poor.

Judas, with the piece of bread, left. It was night.

When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around!

“Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’

“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”

Invoking Radical Solidarity Responsive Reading

Radical Solidarity means that whatever happens to you happens to me.
Christ knew the way.

By joining himself with the fate of humanity,
Christ showed us the way.

By sharing openly about his own death,
Christ showed us the way.

By loving his disciples in ways they could repeat with each other,
Christ showed us the way.

Bound together with the love of Christ,
We can make our way.


Words of Institution & Communion

Friends, this is the joyful feast of the people of God!

We come from east and west, from north and south, from the highways and the byways, from wealth and from poverty, from Kansas and Missouri, from city and from country, from the broken places and places of beauty, and sit at table in the grace-filled reign of God.

We are told in the Scriptures that when Jesus was at table with his disciples, he took the bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him. And we are told that after the meal in the upper room he took the cup, and told them, “This is my life’s blood, given for you. Whenever you drink of it, do so remembering me”. 

This is the Table of love, inclusion, and spiritual journey, mysterious in its grace and transparent in its hospitality, honoring every gender, race, class, sexual orientation, faith tradition, and marital status, exclusive only in its fierce commitment to all people. We are invited to share the feast prepared by the One who loves us without condition.

Now is the time to consume your communion elements.

Closing Prayer - The Magdalene’s Blessing by Jan L. Richardson

You hardly imagined
standing here,
everything you ever loved
suddenly returned to you,
looking you in the eye
and calling your name.

And now
you do not know
how to abide this ache
in the center
of your chest,
where a door
slams shut
and swings open
at the same time,
turning on the hinge
of your aching
and hopeful heart.

I tell you,
this is not a banishment
from the garden.

This is an invitation,
a choice,
a threshold,
a gate.

This is your life
calling to you
from a place
you could never
have dreamed,
but now that you
have glimpsed its edge,
you cannot imagine
choosing any other way.

So let the tears come
as anointing,
as consecration,
and then
let them go.

Let this blessing
gather itself around you.

Let it give you
what you will need
for this journey.

You will not remember
the words—
they do not matter.

All you need to remember
is how it sounded
when you stood
in the place of death
and heard the living
call your name.


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