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Trinity United Church
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Maundy Thursday

“Connection not Perfection”



Acknowledgement of Territory:
The United Churches of Canada
repudiates the doctrine of discovery
that assumed these lands were unoccupied
when European explorers and settlers first came here.
In humble appreciation,
we acknowledge that Trinity United Church rests
on the unceded territory
of the Coast Salish peoples,
the Kwikwetlem First Nations.


Call to Worship:
This is a day of remembrance for us.
We lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
Throughout the generations,
we have received and handed on to others
what the Lord has given to us:
water for washing; the towel for service;
The bread of his body; the cup of the new covenant;
proclaiming the Lord’s death until he comes again.*

*Feasting on the Word: Liturgies for Year B Vol 1, p131 ff

Prayer of Approach:

God of love,
during Holy Week,
we give you thanks for this night
Jesus shared with his disciples.
Between the public parade
and the public charade
is the intimate hour.
Though even now we do not fully understand,
we long to follow his example:
to serve as he served,
to love has he loved.
Jesus promised
that if we know these things and do them,
we will be blessed.
Help us, then, to know and to do
all that Jesus taught.
Though we betray and deny,
we still come seeking a blessing,
for this much we do know:
we cannot live unless you bless us. Amen.*

*Feasting on the Word: Liturgies for Year B Vol 1, p133 ff

Hymn: “As the Deer” VU 766
CLICK HERE for video.

Prayer of Reconciliation and Words of Assurance:
“O Lord, I pray, save my life”. As he gathered with his friends that night, as he celebrated the ancient meal of his people, as he sang songs, lifted prayers, and lived his life, he knew, as we all do, that it would not last forever.
And despite his intimate connection with the Creator, despite the faith he clung to, his heart was heavy, his fear was real, and his pleas to his God were desperate.
So it is with great faith that we come tonight before our God, as human as we are, and honestly make our confession.

Let us pray to our God:
Holy God, you hear our prayers,
you understand our doubt,
you love us through the chaos of life,
and you are with us in this place tonight.
We confess before you
the many times our faith has run out.
We, like Jesus,
have experienced times when we have felt
that you were so very far away.
Help us to be attentive to your voice.
Remind us that you accept us just as we are
but call us to be better,
in our lives, our loves, and our faith.
Help us understand what Jesus meant when he said,
“not my will but yours be done”
in ways that will transform and free us.
[silence. The seventh candle is extinguished]

One candle remains
and its light casts a shadow on what lies ahead of us.
Yet even as Good Friday approaches,
we will remember how one solitary candle
can shatter darkness
and bring hope to the world.
Be with us through this night,
be with us through this struggle, O God,
and lead us into your light,
healed and forgiven. Amen.*

*written by Nora Vedras
Found in Gathering L/E 2018 (Year B), p63ff
Used with permission


Hymn: “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” VU 806
CLICK HERE for video.

1 Corinthians 11:23-26

23 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, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’ 25In 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.’ 26For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

John 13:1-17, 31b-35
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.2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.5Then 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.6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”7Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”8Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”10Jesus 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.”11For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”12After 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?13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am.14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.33Little 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.’34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This is the witness of the early church. Thanks be to God!

Message: CLICK HERE for video.

Gracious God,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us, we pray,
that we may see the light of you Word
in the darkness of our lives.
And seeing, may we understand;
understanding, may we do all that you ask.
In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.*
*Feasting on the Word: Liturgies for Year B Vol 1, p133 ff

We hear from Paul today the words of institution:
The words that "Institute" the Eucharist, or Communion:
"This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me"
"This is the cup of the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me."

A text without a context…

Paul is admonishing the Corinthians.

In the Roman period at the time public meals were a means of establishing and maintaining the conventional system, the hierarchy of dominance and subordination
The rich, the powerful, the honoured, the privileged vs the poor, the marginalized, the weak, the oppressed

A Host would "honour" some guests by giving them an abundance of the best he had to offer, while others went hungry because they were of little importance in the social order, or the host wanted to shame them

The Corinthians, when celebrating the Lords Supper, were maintaining this cultural practice.

And Paul admonishes them.

It doesn't matter if you say the right words at the Lord's Table if you are privileging some and shaming others.

It is only the Lord's Table if you are transformed by the presence of Christ to act as though the Reign of Christ has begun.
Behaving like you love each other.

Today is Maundy Thursday.
Maundy comes from the Latin mandatum, meaning, command. It refers to Jesus final commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you."
Remembering that Christ has first loved us, we are to go forth from here, loving one another.


Special Music 


Hymn: “Let us Break Bread Together” VU 480
CLICK HERE for video.

The Great Thanksgiving:
Friends, this is the Table of the Lord.
From the night of his arrest through
succeeding generations,
Jesu’s disciples have continued to come to the
Table for his holy meal.
As he did that night in Jerusalem,
so ever since in all times and places,
Christ meets us here.
We are included in this feast,
whether we are filled with faith or emptied by doubt;
whether we are fist among saints, last among scoundrels,
or somewhere in between.
In bread broken and cup poured out,
we remember the full extend of Christ’s love for us
and give thanks.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.

It is right, Creator and Ruler of the Universe,
to give you thanks and praise.
You formed the world and called it good.
In the days of Noah,
when humankind had become thoroughly evil
in thought and deed,
you sent the great fold to destroy all that you had made.
Yet, in mercy,
you caused the ark to float in safety.
Then, on dry ground, Noah and his family,
and living creatures of every kind,
were brought out by you to begin again.
Beginning with Abraham,
you formed a people as your own
and made covenant to be their God.
When we were slaves in Egypt,
you heard our cries,
sending Moses to lead us into freedom.
You parted the waters of the sea,
leading Israel safely through on dry ground.
Though you gave us the promised land
and made of us a great nation,
we continued to turn from your ways and betray
your commands.
Yet, in love and enduring mercy,
you continued to call us back to you
through the words of the prophets.
We now call out to you…
…forever praising your steadfast love and glory:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

You are holy, O God of glory,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, you Son, our Lord.
He lived among us,
teaching and healing,
gathering the outcast and the sinner,
welcoming everyone into the way of abundant life.
By serving, he taught us how to serve.
By loving us fully,
he gave the example of how we are to love one another.
Even on the night of his betrayal,
he loved his own to the end.

Remembering all your mighty and merciful acts,
we take this bread and this juice,
gifts from the earth,
and celebrate with thanksgiving
the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Accept, we pray, this offering of thanksgiving,
as we proclaim the one crucified and risen.
…Great is the mystery of faith:
Christ has died,
Christ is risen,
Christ will come again.

Gracious God,
pour out your Holy Spirit upon us
and upon this bread, juice and wine,
that the bread we break
and the cup we bless
may be for us the communion of the body and blood of Christ.
By your Spirit, bind us in love
to the church of every time and place.
Loving one another,
may we bear witness that we are disciples of Christ
and serve others as he served us.
With our whole bodies – head, hands, feet –
we give ourselves in humility and gratitude
as we await the day
when we will share this feast at your table in glory.

Through Christ, with Christ, in Christ,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
…all glory and honour is yours, eternal God,
now and forever. Amen.

The Disciples’ Prayer: “Our Father” VU 960
CLICK HERE for video.


The bread of new life.
The cup of promise.

Prayer after Communion:

O Lord our God,
we rise from this table
knowing a love beyond our deserving.
Thank you for giving us a place at your table;
for serving us the bread of life;
for offering to us,
even to us,
the cup of salvation.
In humility and hope,
we go now from this night
to your promised day.
In Christ we pray. Amen.*

*Feasting on the Word: Liturgies for Year B Vol 1, p216 ff

Hymn: “O Sacred Head” VU 145
CLICK HERE for video.

Commissioning and Benediction:
Jesus has set an example for us:
to serve others as he has served us,
and to love one another as he has loved us.
Go and do likewise
so that everyone can tell
that we are his disciples.

May God,
who led Israel out of slavery into freedom,
may Christ,
who led us out of death into life,
and may the Holy Spirit,
who leads us out of fear into boldness,
abide with you this Holy Thursday,
in the holy days ahead,
and forevermore. Amen.*

*Feasting on the Word: Liturgies for Year B Vol 1, p136 ff




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