Gals and Pals, it’s Maundy Thursday. Whether you are scrambling to finish a homily or find readers, or all set for the days to come, or wondering where to squeeze in time to ponder the Resurrection in the midst of scenes of the arrest and the Crucifixion, we’re here for you. Join the conversation in the comments to share resources or ask for suggestions or simply share the holy moments of this Holy Week.

Here’s a poem about love, for this Thursday.

Maundy

Sometimes it’s hard
to love one another,
To love into the foibles
instead of around them.

Mine are uncountable;
Unaccountable, too.

I leave the lights burning,
Turn up the thermostat,
Slip off my shoes anywhere at all.
I turn on televisions then walk away,
Forgetting, the sounds white noise
Underscoring my life.

It must be hard.

I have more yarn than
I could ever knit,
Projects begun, put down, 
Why I loved the color
Or the texture
Forgotten.

To love each other transcends forgetting.
We know and care, but know the truth.
He told us to love so others can know us–
Know him–
It’s a mandate, a commandment,
A rule for living,
Loving orders.

~Martha Spong

27 thoughts on “Maundy Thursday Prep Party

  1. Maundy Thursday service is over, and time to go to bed, get some rest before the Good Friday service in the morning. Tonight I used ‘ table talk ‘ from a book called Jesus and Peter, put out by Iona. We sat In a circle, and shared bread and juice, then I invited people to tell a time they were aware of the kingdom or a favourite story about Jesus. 12 of us, I ponted out that this is what Linley happened, a group not much bigger than us chatting around a table. Someone told me Jesus is present so that makes 13, the right number!
    My husband suggested I show you the picture of our church ‘decorated’ for tomorrow , but I don’t know how to add that in.

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  2. Our Maundy Thursday is pretty simple. A potluck, communion, and footwashing. This year the communion will be around each table. One of the gifts of a very small church…there are plenty of elders to serve at each table (PCUSA). We have the old wooden communion cup trays which we will use and our awesome bread baker made a small loaf for each table. Fresh grapes will complete the table as well.

    I have a few words for the footwashing….and then the invitation is extended for anyone to participate. In the past we have also offered hand washing…but that always gives them an easy out. This year…just the feet.

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  3. Pearl and Elaine -your services sound lovely. I long for a little simplicity, a little intimacy right now.

    We have formal worship with stripping of the altar after communion. My sermon is done for tonight- maybe just a little tweaking today. But there’s still a ton of stuff to do- meditations for tomorrow morning’s service, sermon for Easter, a sunrise service to be planned by the college students going on our mission trip…plus the normal stuff.

    And I have been strangely unmotivated this week. It been like slogging through mud to get anything done. Highly unusual for me, since I love Holy Week and the drama and the pageantry and the amazing spectacle of God’s love for us. I’m hoping today will be better, now that we’re into the Three Days my enthusiam will come back. If not,I’m trusting the Spirit to make it work anyway.

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  4. Bulletins printed and volunteers secured for tonight and tomorrow. Yet to do: finish this evening’s sermon. It’s just not writing itself. I’m preaching on the meaning of Communion (Lutheran) but having a hard time making it be proclamation rather than a lecture.

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    1. Since I’m living with a preacher who recently stopped preaching from a manuscript, how about trying just telling it to yourself, then see where that gets you? Not suggesting you go off-book tonight! It might just help the process of getting it away from teaching and into preaching.

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    2. when this happens to me, i get out the microphone and speak the sermon into the computer. not sure why, some weeks it is easier to type, some weeks it flows better when i use the speaking software.

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  5. We have a formal Maundy Thursday service tonight, all ready to go. Five minute sermon on “Food for the Journey,” continuing our journey theme, with communion followed by Tenebrae. Tomorrow I am doing one of the readings at the community Stations of the Cross service at our big Catholic church, and Saturday I am skipping the Easter Egg Hunt in favor of lunch with a newly widowed friend in town to visit her sister. Today I’m home working on the Easter sermon, which is falling into place with surprising speed, causing me to wonder suspiciously what I’m about to stumble over.

    I have SO enjoyed reading all the creative things people have been doing with Holy Week. What with the new church, its multitude of crises big and small, and my own dragging around in broken ankle recovery and exhaustion, I haven’t had it in me to try anything new this year, but I am stashing them all away for next.

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  6. We did Palm Sunday this year, after a few years of Passion Sundays, and I can’t get this congregation to make Good Friday their day, (but they love coming on Maundy Thursday) so I’m making a Maundy Thursday communion/Good Friday passion reading mash up service. It will all be fine.

    After the NEXT Conference a few weeks ago (a PCUSA event) I’ve started doing Biblical storytelling. So I’ve almost got the Easter text memorized. Working on one of the passion readings too. My congregation loves it. Has really made worship feel different.

    Blessings to all of you!

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  7. I’m feeling good about the weekend. Tonight is a simple reading of the Passion Narratives and sharing communion by tincture. Tomorrow night is Tenebrae which is all written. Sunday is all age with Baptism and Communion, so just a bit of storytelling through Easter eggs rather than a sermon.
    However, next week already has 3 funerals scheduled, one of which is for a beloved matriarch. I am weary and trying to work out if I can disappear after worship Sunday and return Monday evening. I would also like to visit my mum but can’t see at the moment how to fit that in. So excuse me having a wee sigh. I’m writing reflections just now that are me preaching to myself! Praying that I won’t be too tired to experience Easter joy and hope and giving thanks,yet again for this blessed community of RevGals. Thanks, Martha. xxx

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  8. finding this blog is truly a blessing… “Count your blessings….name them one by one.”.. Such a wonderful collection of voices and minds.. This blog is one of the blessings i name.

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  9. We also have a potluck, communion and foot washing service. This church has had a history of Seders for many years. I really don’t feel comfortable doing them for historical reasons and trying to re-purpose something so sacred that I don’t really understand since I’m not Jewish. But everything is set up except for the needing to remember to bring the basin and pitcher from the parsonage over. Still struggling with the Easter sermon and the brief Good Friday meditation.

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  10. FWIW – My sermon “Washing the feet of the unfaithful faithful” is posted: http://ramblingsjesusfreak.blogspot.com/2014/04/maundy-thursday-washing-feet-of.html

    I’ve finished the series of very short meditations on the seven last words of Christ for tomorrow morning’s service. The bulletins are done, the Saturday’s baptism is prepared for, and I think I have everything in place for the next two days.

    Time to turn to prepping for the Easter sunrise service, breakfast and bake sale the mission trip participants are doing. I have a lovely young college student preaching that service, and some special music.

    Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get through this week!

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  11. Maundy Thursday worship went well – we share it with another church, and it was their turn to host this year, but I helped lead and did the communion liturgy. Then my husband and I headed over to our church, to run through the lighting cues for tomorrow night. Now I need to finish my funeral sermon for tomorrow morning. Somewhere between the funeral and the tenebrae service, our youth will re-set the fellowship hall for Easter breakfast, and Saturday is the flower load in. Our matriarch who oversees the display is not well, so please say a prayer for her as her heart grows weaker and she deals with releasing much of the responsibility (hence, power) she has held for many years. I think I will have time on Saturday to get Sunday’s sermon written… need to get an Alleluia banner put together, if there is time.

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  12. Forgot to mention that the nursing home worship service went really well this afternoon, with communion and everything. I stopped by the local pizza parlor that advertises gluten-free crusts, and bought one of their frozen, sealed in cellophane, 8″ crusts for three bucks. Popped it in the oven for a few minutes, and voilà – warm gluten free bread that tears well and serves a couple dozen people quite easily. Kinda “unleavened bread-y” in texture and appearance, good and chewy.

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  13. almost lunchtime on Good Friday,
    After lunch it will time to move my head into Sunday mode, as i haven’t started that service yet. i was thinking of what we do with the surprise of the empty tomb – is it just a space or does it speak new life.
    then this came in from a friend on Facebook this week:

    ““The proof that God raised Jesus from the dead is not the empty tomb,
    but the full hearts of his transformed disciples.
    The crowning evidence that he lives is not a vacant grave,
    but a spirit-filled fellowship.
    Not a rolled-away stone, but a carried-away church.”
    (Clarence Jordan).
    Can our Easter congregations look and live like this on Sunday as witnesses to the resurrection? It probably can’t be handed out at the door

    it was in response to this question:
    In what ways could churches witness to resurrection on Easter Sunday?
    In what ways can we embody resurrection not just talk and sing about it?
    Where do you see resurrection?

    I also like the ‘do not be afraid’ – usually code for you should be afraid if you aren’t. like the news warning that some images may offend people and they show you footage of the Ukraine or Syria – you should be offended.

    maybe being afraid will fit with how we live out resurrection.

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