Maundy Thursday Worship 2020

Maundy Thursday 
Service of the Word, Holy Communion, Tenebrae 
Adapted from the liturgy written by the Rev. Quentin Chin 

This year’s Maundy Thursday Service took place over Zoom, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Service of the Word 

Greeting [KJ Screen and Voice] 

Beloved Ones, tonight we walk with Jesus to the cross.  
We will remember with the bread and the cup his final meal with his friends.  
We will remember that his friends left him alone in his hour of need.  
As light fades into darkness, we will remember that our lives are both light and dark 
and that darkness calls forth from us our deepest trust and hope. 

You will need something to drink and something to eat for this Communion Service. 

Most of tonight’s liturgy is adapted from a service written by the Rev. Quentin Chin of Massachusetts and is being used by many UCC congregations across Southern New England this night.  

I now invite you to settle in and walk these final steps with Jesus.  

Pastor Kelly Jane presiding over the evening’s service in her living room, arranged for the occasion.

Opening Prayer: Phos Hilaron [KJ Screen and Voice] 

The Phos Hilaron, is one of the earliest hymns of the church – traditionally used in early evening, at Vespers, or the Lighting of the Lamps in praise for Christ, the Light of the World. (UCC Book of Worship, Page 210; other translations available) 

I invite you to light a candle or candles.  

O Gracious Light, 
Pure brightness of the eternal Creator in heaven, 
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! 
Now as we come to the setting of the sun, 
And our eyes behold your vesper light, 
We sing your praises, Holy God, One in Trinity. 
You are worthy at all times 
To be praised by happy voices, 
O Christ of God, O giver of life, 
And to be glorified through all the worlds. Amen.  

Litany of Confession [Slide 1 with Clicks and Voice KJ & Jerry] 

One: We come this night because we are followers of Jesus.  
We have walked, often sightless, on the rocky road with Jesus. 
During this journey we have slipped and fallen. We have wanted to give up.  
Our feet are sore.  We are tired.  
Let us ask God to help us not to falter in our walk with Jesus.  I invite you to join me in a responsive prayer of confession, a plea for healing and help.  When I say, “We beseech you, O Holy One” You may respond, “Have mercy on us.” While I invite you to respond aloud at home, please keep your microphone on mute.   

Prayer of Confession 
Holy God, your love for us overflows, but we have not loved you 
with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength. 
We beseech you, O Holy One, 
Many: Out loud, but muted (Jerry & Pam unmuted) 
Have mercy on us.  [Click 2] 
One: Holy One, we fail to remember that we are inextricably bound one with each other. We beseech you, O Holy One. 
Have mercy on us. 
One: Holy One, we are stubborn and cling to our comfortable ways. 
We beseech you, O Holy One, 
Many: Muted (Jerry & Pam unmuted) 
Have mercy on us. [Click 4] 
One: Holy One, remind us that we live for you and not for ourselves or by ourselves.  We beseech you, O Holy One, 
Have mercy on us. 
One: Holy One, we have lost sight of our collective power we hold 
when we strive to work together towards a common purpose. 
We beseech you, O Holy One, 
Many: M
Have mercy on us. 
One: Holy One, we lift up to you in the silence our personal struggles. (silence) May the Holy One, our God, have mercy upon us 
and forgive us of our sins 
through the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Amen. 

Sung Response  

Kyrie Eleison; Christe Eleison (Lord, have mercy; Christ, have mercy)                          

Jesus pouring water from a jug

Gospel Lesson John 13:2-1[Slide 2 – 3 Reader 1 Joe Murdzek] 

Translation from An Inclusive Bible, © 2011 Priests for Equality; reprinted with permission. 

So during supper, Jesus—knowing that God had put all things into his own hands, and that he had come from God and was returning to God—   rose from the table, took off his clothes and wrapped a towel around his waist.  He then poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and dry them with the towel that was around his waist. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said, “Rabbi, you’re not going to wash my feet, are you?” Jesus answered, “You don’t realize what I am doing right now, but later you’ll understand.” Peter replied, “You’ll never wash my feet!” Jesus answered, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.” Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Then, Rabbi, not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!”   Jesus said, “Any who have taken a bath are clean all over and only need to wash their feet—and you’re clean, though not every one of you.” For Jesus knew who was to betray him. That is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 

Jesus washes his disciples’ feet – John 13:1-17

Music [Screen KJ & Voice Jerry] 

“Wash Their Feet” (part 1) (Pastor pours water into basin) 

Gospel Lesson John 13:12-15; 34-35 [Slide 4 & Reader 1 Joe Murdzek] 

After washing their feet, Jesus put his clothes back on and returned to the table. He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me “Teacher,” and “Sovereign”—and rightly, for so I am. If I, then—your Teacher and Sovereign—have washed your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you…  

 I give you a new commandment: Love one another. And you’re to love one another the way I have loved you. This is how all will know that you’re my disciples: that you truly love one another.” 

Music [Screen & Voice Jerry] 

“Wash Their Feet” (part 2) 

Pastoral Reflection [Screen & Voice KJ] 

All Lent we have followed Jesus and seen how he nourishes us through this desert time, 

Week by week filling vases with water and praying for life anew.  

Tonight, on the eve of his crucifixion, we witness Jesus nourish his disciples by washing their feet. An act of service. An act of love.  

Even with betrayal and death lurking in the shadows, Jesus serves and calls us to serve. 

Serving our neighbors can be a challenge right now with the necessity of social distancing.  

Yet people are serving one another by making masks, calling up on friends and neighbors, praying and offering financial support to help those in need.  

Many of you are doing the very best thing you can do by staying home and staying safe. 

Social Scientists and psychologists say that during times of trauma and crisis,  

People need a purpose – they need to be able to help in some way.  

That, in fact, serving others is crucial for our own well-being and emotional strength. 

When Jesus commands his disciples to serve one another as he himself bowed down in service, 

He must have known that serving others helps everyone involved – 

Those giving and those receiving.  

Jesus points to a mutual aid – those who once served now receive – 

So that both parties both receive and give at different times. 

While some struggle with the spiritual practice of giving, 

Others struggle with the spiritual practice of receiving. 

A number of you have expressed to me the heartache, frustration and worry about others – 

Whether its family members scoffing at social distancing requirements  

or strangers standing too close at the grocery store.  

There are times when we want to offer help, advice, or aid, 

But the recipient is not open to our gifts.  

It reminds me of Peter who at first refuses Jesus’s offer to wash his feet. 

Sometimes people are not receptive to receiving help and givers can only do so much.  

Jesus tells Peter that if he does not receive this gift of foot washing Peter will have no part in him. 

Peter will be isolated and cut off from Jesus if he refuses to receive what Jesus is giving. 

Indeed, the refusal to receive help or blessings can cut us off from Jesus,  

neighbors, and one another – literally, emotionally and spiritually.  

For those of us accustomed to living and working independently, 

Receiving help is a spiritual challenge requiring humility 

As well as a commitment to remaining connected to one another. 

Jesus’s act of foot washing calls us to serve and to receive love and aid from one another. 

During this desert time, serving others nourishes our soul, 

Yet, receiving the service of others also nourishes the soul – 

For in receiving service from another we acknowledge just how interconnected we are.  

So may we both receive and give, loving one another as Jesus taught us. Amen.           

Hymn [Slide 5 – 7 & Voice Jerry]  

Jesu, Jesu (verses 1, 4 and 5) :

Listen to a sister church choir by clicking here.

Holy Communion 

Invitation [Screen & Voice KJ] 

Jesus continues his act of service with a Passover meal with his friends.  

During this meal he gives his very body and blood as atonement for all humanity has or will do to harm.  

Jesus takes the blame and so Jesus is thought of as the sacrificial lamb of the Passover Seder – the sacrifice that allows all death to pass over and everlasting life to be offered to all.   

Jesus extends this great gift to all the disciples seated at the table with him – including those who would betray him and deny him.  

Jesus included everyone at the table – even those who had and would do wrong.  

So all are invited to this communion meal.  

You need not be perfect, you need not fully understand, you need not have it all together – after all, the first disciples certainly didn’t.  

Great Thanksgiving [Slide 8 with Clicks & Voice KJ] 

As the first Communion took place during Passover, our communion prayer follows the pattern of the Passover song, DayenuDayenu is a song of rejoicing over God’s generous blessings for the people of Israel: Dayenu means “it would have been enough”. It is found in the Passover Haggadah.  

When I say “Dayenu” I invite you to respond aloud, but still on mute, “it would have been enough.”  Let us pray 

God we lift our hearts in praise and thanks to you.  

Thank you for creating this world with plants and living things for our nourishment, 
and making a new covenant with Noah, Dayenu.  
(Congregation aloud, but muted; CJ aloud) it would have been enough. 

Thank you for bringing your people out of bondage in Egypt, dealing justice in the face of oppression. Dayenu.  
(Congregation aloud, but muted; CJ aloud) it would have been enough. 

Thank you for providing all that was needed during Israel’s forty years in the wilderness, 
manna, quail, water and guidance. Dayenu.  
(Congregation aloud, but muted; CJ aloud) it would have been enough. 

Thank you for the Law and Commandments that we might know your ways of love and justice, Thank you for guiding your people to the Promised Land of Milk and Honey. Dayenu 
(Congregation aloud, but muted; CJ aloud) it would have been enough. 

Thank you for returning your people to Jerusalem after its exile in Babylon, 
returning them to the Temple for worship together. Dayenu.  
(Congregation aloud, but muted; CJ aloud) it would have been enough. 

Thank you for coming to us as a baby named Jesus, a baby who would grow into a man bringing healing and living water to people of all backgrounds and especially those on the margins. Dayenu.  
(Congregation aloud, but muted; CJ aloud) it would have been enough. 

Thank you Jesus for going to the cross, trusting in God’s power and the strength of divine love, even in the deepest, darkest night. Dayenu.  
(Congregation aloud, but muted; CJ aloud) it would have been enough. 

And yet, O God, you did this to remind us that life always overcomes death 
and that out of death new life emerges.  
For this O God, we are eternally grateful. 
We join all the saints who have come before to praise you… 

Sanctus (sung by Jerry) 

Holy, holy, holy, God of love and majesty, 
the whole universe speaks of your glory, 
O God most high. 
Blessed is One who comes in the name of our God. 
Hosanna in the highest! Amen. 

Prayer for the Spirit [Screen & Voice KJ] 

I invite you now to place your hands over your bread and cup. Together we will call upon the Holy Spirit to come and bless this meal. When I say, “send your Holy Spirit” please respond aloud, but on mute, “Come, Holy Spirit, Come.” CJ will say the congregational part. Let us pray.  

O God, upon this bread and this cup, send your Holy Spirit. 

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. 
Though we may be in separate places, 
grant that by this bread and cup we will be one body in Christ, so send your Holy Spirit. 

Come, Holy Spirit, Come. 

That we might support each other in this our time of trial 
and to proclaim hope through our ministries of healing and grace, send your Holy Spirit. 

Come, Holy Spirit, Come.  

We ask this with the prayer Jesus taught us saying, together yet on mute,  

Lord’s Prayer 

Pastor Kelly Jane blessing the elements

Words of Institution [Screen and Voice KJ] 

One: On the night he was betrayed, the night we remember at this moment, Jesus sat at table with his disciples.  He picked up the bread, blessed it, and broke it saying to them, “Take, eat. This is my body broken for you. As often as you do this, remember me.” 
Later he took a cup and after blessing it, he gave it to them saying, “Drink from this all of you.  This is my blood of the new covenant poured for all for the forgiveness of sins. As often as you drink of this, remember me.” 
By this bread and this cup we proclaim: Christ has died, Christ is Risen, Christ will come again. 

Sharing the Feast [Screen bounce around as people eat] 

Prayer of Thanksgiving [Screen & Voice KJ] 

We give thanks to you, O God, for gathering us together 
at these tables in this moment in time. 
Though separate, by your Holy Spirit and this bread and cup, 
we are bound as one body in Christ. 
We have been strengthened in love 
and committed to bear witness to hope that never dies. 
May we tell the story of life that always overcomes death 
through our words and deeds. Amen. 

Tenebrae (Service of Shadows)                            

Tenebrae Readings [Screen & Voice KJ] 

Following the Last Supper Jesus would be betrayed, the Light of the World sentenced to death. We will recount these last few hours of Jesus’s earthly life through seven readings. You are invited to put out a candle or light after each reading. Let us continue our journey with Jesus.  

Jesus Prays Matthew 26:36-46 [Screen & Reader 2 Kathy Cattanach]

36Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane and said to the disciples, “Stay here while I go over there and pray.” 37Jesus took along Peter, James and John and started to feel grief and anguish. 38Then he said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death. Please, stay here, and stay awake with me.” 39Jesus went on a little further and fell prostrate in prayer: “Abba, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. But not what I want—what you want.” 40When Jesus returned to the disciples, he found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you stay awake with me for even an hour? 

41Be on guard, and pray that you may not undergo trial. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” 42Withdrawing a second time, Jesus prayed, “Abba, if this cup cannot pass me by without my drinking it, your will be done!” 43Once more Jesus returned and found the disciples asleep; they could not keep their eyes open. 

44Jesus left them again, withdrew somewhat and prayed for a third time, saying the same words as before. 45Finally Jesus returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping? Still taking your rest? The hour is upon us—the Chosen One is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Get up! Let us be on our way! Look, my betrayer is here.” 

Blow Out Candle/Light 

Hymn [Slide 9 & Voice Jerry] 

#225 Go To Dark Gethsemane verse 1 : Listen Here

The Arrest Matthew 26:47-56 [Screen & Voice Reader 3 Beth Harlow] 

47While Jesus was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived—accompanied by a great crowd with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. 48Judas had arranged to give them a signal. “Whomever I embrace is the one,” he had said; “take hold of him.” 49He immediately went over to Jesus and said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and embraced him. 50Jesus said to Judas, “Friend, just do what you’re here to do!” At that moment, the crowd surrounded them, laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. 51 Suddenly, one of those who accompanied Jesus drew a sword and slashed at the high priest’s attendant, cutting off an ear. 52 Jesus said, “Put your sword back where it belongs. Those who live by the sword die by the sword. 53 Don’t you think I can call on my Abba God to provide over twelve legions of angels at a moment’s notice? 54But then how would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen this way?” 55Then Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I  a robber, that you have come armed with swords and clubs to arrest me? Every day I sat teaching in the Temple precincts, yet you never arrested me.” 56All this happened in fulfillment of the writings of the prophets. Then all the disciples deserted Jesus and fled.  

Blow Out Candle/Light 

The Denial Matthew 26:57-75 [Screen & Voice Reader 4 Pat Sirois] 

57Those who had seized Jesus led him off to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the religious scholars and elders had convened. 58 Peter followed at a distance as far as the high priest’s residence. Going inside, Peter sat down with the guards to await the outcome. 59The chief priests, with the whole Sanhedrin, were busy trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, so that they might put him to death. 60 They discovered none, despite the many false witnesses who took the stand. Finally two came forward 61 who stated, “This man has declared, ‘I can destroy God’s sanctuary and rebuild it in three days.” 62The high priest rose and addressed Jesus, “Have you no answer? What about this testimony leveled against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. The high priest then said to him, “ I  order you to tell us under oath, before the living God, whether or not you are the Messiah, the Firstborn of God?” 64“You have said it yourself,” Jesus replied. “But I  tell you: soon you will see the Chosen One seated at the right hand of the Almighty and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65At this, the high priest tore his robes and said, “Blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? You yourselves have heard the blasphemy. 66What is your verdict?” They responded, “He deserves death!” 67Then they spat at his face and struck him with their fists. Others slapped Jesus, 68saying, “Play the prophet for us, Messiah! Who struck you?” 

69While this was happening, Peter was sitting in the courtyard. One of the attendants came over and said, “You were with Jesus the Galilean too, weren’t you?” 70 But Peter denied it in front of everyone. He said, “I  don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71When Peter went out to the gate, another attendant saw him and said to those nearby, “This one was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72Again he cursed and denied it: “I don’t know him!” 73A  little while later, some bystanders came over to Peter and said, “You certainly are one of them! Even your accent gives you away!” 74At that, Peter began cursing and swore, “I don’t know the man!” Just then a rooster began to crow, 75and Peter remembered the prediction Jesus had made: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” Peter went out and cried bitterly. 

Blow Out Candle/Light 

Hymn #231 Ah, Holy Jesus (verses 1 and 2)Listen Here.

The Trial Matthew 27:11-31 (Screen & Reader 5 Gastons) Turn off dining room light and living room.   

11 Then Jesus was arraigned before Pontius Pilate, the governor, who questioned him. “Are you the King of the Jews?”  

Jesus replied, “You say that I am.” 12 Yet when Jesus was accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no reply.  

13 Pilate said to Jesus, “Surely you hear how many charges they bring against you?”  

14But Jesus did not answer Pilate on a single count, much to the governor’s surprise.  

15 Now, on the occasion of a festival, the governor was accustomed to release one prisoner, whomever the crowd would designate. 16 At the time they were holding a notorious prisoner named Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you wish me to release for you? Barabbas? Or Jesus, the so-called Messiah?” 18 Pilate knew, of course, that it was out of jealousy that they had handed Jesus over.  

19 While Pilate was still presiding on the bench, his wife sent him a message: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man. I had a dream about him last night which has been troubling me all day long.” 20 But the chief priests and elders convinced the crowds that they should ask for Barabbas, and have Jesus put to death.  

21 So when the governor asked them, “Which one do you wish me to release for you?” they all cried, “ Barabbas!” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what am I  to do with Jesus, the so-called Messiah?”  

“Crucify him!” they all said.  

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” Pilate asked.  

But they only shouted louder, “Crucify him!” 

24 Pilate finally realized that he was getting nowhere with this—in fact, a riot was breaking out. Pilate called for water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, declaring as he did so, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. The responsibility is yours.” 

25 The whole crowd said in reply, “Let his blood be on us and on our children.” 26  

At that, Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified. 

27 The governor’s soldiers took Jesus inside the Governor’s house and assembled the whole cohort around him. 28They stripped off his clothes and wrapped him in a scarlet military cloak. 29 Weaving a crown out of thorns, they pressed it onto his head and stuck a reed in his right hand. Then they began to mock Jesus by dropping to their knees, saying, “All hail, King of the Jews!” 30 They also spat at him. Afterward they took hold of the reed and struck Jesus on the head. 

31 Finally, when they had finished mocking him, they stripped him of the cloak, dressed him in his own clothes and led him off to crucifixion. 

Blow Out Candle/Light 

Jesus Mocked Matthew 27:33-44 (Screen & Reader 6 Howard Satalino) 

33 Upon arriving at a site called Golgotha—which means Skull Place— 34 they gave Jesus a drink of wine mixed with a narcotic herb, which Jesus tasted but refused to drink. 35 Once they had nailed Jesus to the cross, they divided his clothes among them by rolling dice; 36 then they sat down and kept watch over him. 37Above his head, they put the charge against him in writing: “This is Jesus, King of the Jews.” 38Two robbers were crucified along with Jesus, one at his right and one at his left. 

39 People going by insulted Jesus, shaking their heads 40and saying, “So you are the one who was going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Save yourself, why don’t you? Come down off that cross if you are God’s Own!” 41 The chief priests, the religious scholars and the elders also joined in the jeering: 42  “He saved others but he cannot save himself! So he’s the King of Israel! Let’s see him come down from that cross, and then we will believe in him. 43  He trusts in God; let God rescue him now, if God is happy with him! After all, he claimed to be God’s Own!” 44The robbers who had been crucified with Jesus jeered at him in the same way. 

Blow Out Candle/Light 

Hymn #226 NCH O Sacred Head Now Wounded (Slide 11 & Voice Jerry) Listen to a sister church here.

Jesus Died Matthew 27:45-50 (Screen & Voice Reader Candy) 

45 At noon, a darkness fell over the whole land until about three in the afternoon. 46  At that hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani ?” which means, “ My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” 47  This made some of the bystanders who heard it remark, “He is calling for Elijah!” 48 One of them hurried off and got a sponge. He soaked the sponge in cheap wine and, sticking it on a reed, tried to make Jesus drink. 49 The others said, “Leave him alone. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to his rescue.” 50 Once again, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, then he gave up his spirit. 

Suddenly, the curtain in front of the Holy of Holies was ripped in half from top to bottom. The earth quaked, boulders were split 52 and tombs were opened. 

Blow Out Candle/Light 

A Minute of Silence in the Darkness with light on cross (KJ Screen)  

Hymn   Were You There?  (verses 1 and 2) (Slide 12 – 13 & Jerry)  Listen Here

Jesus laid in the tomb Matthew 27: 55-61  (Screen & Voice Reader Darrell Basler) 

55 A group of women were present, looking on from a distance. These were the same women who had followed Jesus from Galilee as ministers to him. 56 Among them were Mary of Magdala; Mary, the mother of James and Joseph; and the mother of Zebedee’s children. 

57 When evening fell, a wealthy man from Arimathea named Joseph, who had become a disciple of Jesus, 58 came to request the body of Jesus; Pilate issued an order for its release. 59 Taking the body, Joseph wrapped it in fresh linen 60 and laid it in his own tomb, which had been hewn out of rock. Then Joseph rolled a huge stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 But Mary of Magdala and the other Mary remained sitting there, facing the tomb. 

Reader Blows Candle Out 

Dismissal (KJ Screen and Voice)                   

While we sit in darkness, we wait for the light. 

In these days of waiting, may we wait in hope and trust. Amen 

Following the postlude our service tonight will end  

and I will see you all again on Easter morning at 10:00 am.  

Postlude (Slide 14 and Jerry Voice) 

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (played)  

Service will end and meeting will close when the postlude is finished.  

Maundy Thursday Liturgy for Zoom was written by the Rev. Quentin Chin, member of the United Church of Christ in Lenox, Church on the Hill, Lenox MA. Copyright 2020 Justice and Local Church Ministries, Faith INFO Ministry Team, United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH  44115-1100.  Permission granted to reproduce or adapt this material for use in services of worship or church education.  All publishing rights reserved. All readings are from An Inclusive Bible © 2011 Priests for Equality; all publishing rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

Sincere thank you to Jerry Scheinfeldt who selected the music and artfully played all music during the service on Thursday evening (unfortunately no recordings…thus the youtube links).

A BIG Thank You to our Behind the Scenes Tech Manager, C-J Caesar. He managed the zoom meeting, slides, screen sharing and spotlighting, lighting, audio and tech support across more than one device.

A view from the other side of the screen…