Special services

Maundy Thursday Worship

Welcome to Holy Week worship this evening at St. John’s Lutheran in Schuyler and thank you for joining us. As you prepare for this time of worship, we encourage you to set aside distractions and prepare your heart and your space to be a sanctuary. This may include lighting a candle or having your bible or a hymnal handy. 

Tonight, on Maundy Thursday, we bear witness as Jesus and his disciples share a last meal, he lovingly washes their feet, and he is then betrayed and handed over to be crucified. Tonight we will engage in the practice of hand-washing, rather than the traditional foot-washing, so you are also encouraged to have soap and water or hand sanitizer on hand to wash your hands and those of your household.


Thursday, April 1, 2021 • Maundy Thursday
Ministers: the people
Pastor: Day Hefner
Organist: Chrissi Bywater
Lector: Karen Henry

Click here to see the announcements and the prayer list.

Click here to watch the video of this service.

CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

Friends in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were called at baptism. Within the community of the church, God never wearies of forgiving sin and giving the peace of reconciliation. On this night let us confess our sin against God and our neighbor, and enter the celebration of the great Three Days reconciled with God and with one another.

Most merciful God,
we confess that we are captive to sin and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us, and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name.Amen.

In the mercy of almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for his sake God forgives us all our sins. As a called and ordained minister of the church of Christ, and by his authority, I therefore declare to you the entire forgiveness of all your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the ☩ Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

GREETING

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
And also with you.

PRAYER OF THE DAY

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.


Let us pray.

Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Amen.

FIRST READING: Exodus 12:1-14
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 neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 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 judgments: 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.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

PSALM: Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
I love the Lord, who has heard my voice, and listened to my supplication,
for the Lord has given ear to mewhenever I called.

How shall I repay the Lord for all the good things God has done for me?
I will lift the cup of salvationand call on the name of the Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all God’s people.
Precious in your sight, O Lord,is the death of your servants.

O Lord, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your handmaid; you have freed me from my bonds.
I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgivingand call upon the name of the Lord.

I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all God’s people,
in the courts of the Lord‘s house,in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

SECOND READING: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
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.

The word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION

Return to the Lord your God, for God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.

GOSPEL: John 13:1-17, 31b-35

The holy gospel according to John.
Glory to you, O Lord.

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.”

“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.”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON

HYMN OF THE DAY (ELW 359) Where Charity and Love Prevail

Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
brought here together by Christ's love,
by love we thus are bound.

With grateful joy and holy fear,
God's charity we learn;
let us with heart and mind and soul
now love God in return.

Let us recall that in our midst
dwells Christ, God's holy Son;
as members of each body joined,
in him we are made one.

Let strife among us be unknown;
let all contentions cease.
Be God's the glory that we seek;
be his our only peace.

Let us forgive each other's faults
as we our own confess,
that we may love each other well
in Christian gentleness.

HANDWASHING
On this night we have heard our Lord’s commandment to love one another as he has first loved us.  We who receive God’s love in Jesus Christ are called to love one another, to be servants to each other, as Jesus became our servant.  Normally our commitment to this loving service is signified in the washing of feet, following the example our Lord gave us on the night before his death.  In this time of pandemic, one of the greatest acts of love we can do is to wash our own hands, in order to help keep ourselves and our neighbor safe.

HANDWASHING SONG (ELW 642) Ubi caritas et amor (Where True Charity and Love Abide)
(repeated during handwashing — sing in English and/or Latin)

Ubi caritas et amor,
ubi caritas, Deus ibi est.

Where true charity and love abide,
God is dwelling there; God is dwelling there.

PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION

United by the servant love of God in Christ, we pray this holy night for the needs of the world.
Silence for reflection

You call your people to hand on what we receive from you. Form all the baptized into teachers of faith. From one generation to the next, give your church hunger for your promises in the sacraments and joy in receiving and sharing your word. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Your creation provides all that we need. Cleanse and protect the water you have given for washing and drinking, water on which all life depends. Sustain crops and herds that provide food; teach us how to live so that there is enough for all. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

You redeemed your people from slavery. Preserve people throughout the world who flee violence and oppression (especially). Establish just leadership in place of tyranny and peace in place of war. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Jesus loved his followers to the end. Grant assurance of that love to all who need it: those living with guilt, those struggling to forgive, those who are lonely or overlooked. Heal the sick and embrace the dying. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Jesus washed the feet of the one who betrayed him. Inspire this congregation’s ministries of service (especially), that we love as Jesus loved us. Give us renewed courage to serve. Bless the ministry of deacons throughout the church. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Your glory shone in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We thank you for generations of the faithful who have proclaimed our Lord’s death. Unite us with them in hope until he comes again. Hear us, O God.
Your mercy is great.

Hear these and all our prayers, O God, in the name of the one who loves us to the end, Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Amen.

STRIPPING OF THE ALTAR

As we listen to the words of psalms of lament, the worship space is stripped of all its adornments, just as Christ was stripped and beaten and mocked.  Now that the supper has come to an end, we remember how Christ was handed over to be arrested and executed.  This service ends in silence and darkness, as all hastily leave this space.  

Psalm 88
O Lord, my God, my Savior, 
by day and night I cry to you.
Let my prayer enter into your presence; 
incline your ear to my lamentation.

For I am full of trouble; 
my life is at the brink of the grave.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I have become like one who has no strength;
lost among the dead, 
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more, 
for they are cut off from your hand.
You have laid me in the depths of the pit, 
in dark places, and in the abyss.
Your anger weighs upon me heavily, 
and all your great waves overwhelm me.

You have put my friends far from me; 
you have made me to be abhorred by them;
I am in prison and cannot get free.
My sight has failed me because of trouble;
Lord, I have called upon you daily; 
I have stretched out my hands to you.
Do you work wonders for the dead? 
Will those who have died stand up and give you thanks?
Will your lovingkindness be declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in the land of destruction?
Will your wonders be known in the dark
or your righteousness in the country where all is forgotten?

But as for me, O Lord, I cry to you for help; 
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Lord, why have you rejected me? 
Why have you hidden your face from me?
Ever since my youth, 
I have been wretched and at the point of death;
I have borne your terrors and am helpless.
Your blazing anger has swept over me; 
your terrors have destroyed me;
they surround me all day long like a flood; 
they encompass me on every side.
My friend and my neighbor you have put away from me,
and darkness is my only companion.

All depart in silence.

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