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The Way for Worship at Trinity United Church of Christ
April 14, 2022 Maundy Thursday 7pm
*Call to Worship
A call to worship is a call to presence.
We long to be fully present here, and to feel God’s presence here.
Notice the space around us, the way it looks, smells, and sounds.
With all our senses, we recognize a sacred space and our belonging in it.
We gather as good creation, wonderfully made.
We join our bodies into one body as we remember the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
*Opening Hymn What Wondrous Love Is This NCH 223
Opening Ritual Reflection on Footwashing
Prayer of Confession & Assurance of Forgiveness
Loving God, you pour out grace upon us exactly as we are, but we confess we are suspicious and react from fear of scarcity. You invite us to take our shoes off and receive the care our bodies need, but we sit on our heels. We sort bodies into worthy and unworthy ones to mask our insecurities. We reject and punish fat bodies, disabled bodies, transgender bodies, and racialized bodies— even when these bodies are our very own. God, remind us that we are made in your image. Help us learn to receive from your in abundance so we can share all that we have with others. Let us see that the cups we longingly hold out are already full. May they overflow so that all will have enough!
Chancel Choir Won’t You Let Me Be Your Servant NCH 539
Reading | John 13:1-17
Invitation to Generosity
Through the sacraments, God meets us in physical space, offering God’s self to us again and again. In a spirit of grateful response, we offer what we have to meet the needs of our neighbors, to serve Creation, and to glorify God. Let us give our tithes and offerings.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
God be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give our thanks and praise.
God who took on flesh and lived among us, we greet you in worship. We greet you as a Creator who made us good in our bodies; we greet you as a Redeemer who was perfectly divine and totally human; we greet you as a Sustainer, an advocate, a helper who surrounds us in all our ways and all our days. We come in our bodies of all sizes, races, genders, abilities, sexualities, ages, and appearances, so that we might join with your body as we encounter you tangibly, through bread and wine. Through this joyful feast, you fill our spirits to overflowing.
As you nourish us through this holy meal, leave us hungry for your Kin-dom. Leave us thirsty for the justice that you pour out on the world. Let us encounter the bodies around us. Let us see you in the faces of strangers and friends, taste you in the sourness of grapes, hear you in the creaks of the sanctuary and the whisper of the breeze. Through Holy Communion, teach us how to be for others as you are for us: sustaining help, loving accompaniment, eternal hope.
Help us to embrace the mystery of the sacrament as the symbolic and literal blur together until all that remains is your presence with us. We do not come to the Table with perfect understanding. Some of us come with child-like faith; some of us wrestle with questions and doubts; some of us bear wounds that make us suspicious of this act. With your grace we trust the sacred possibilities that become tangible when we eat the bread and drink from the cup. We have hope that in doing this, we might gain a glimpse of all that you offer to us.
We give thanks for the familiarity of rituals and ask that we would continuously notice the possibilities you offer in them. Be with us as we pray the familiar prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, saying:
Our Mother/Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kin-dom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kin-dom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
*Congregational Hymn Let Us Break Bread Together (verses 1 & 2)
African-American Spiritual NCH 330
Words of Institution & Preparing the Elements
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 Table of the joyful feast is not our Table but God’s. Nothing you do, nothing you say, nothing about you can prevent you from partaking, for in communion God reveals the wholeness of who we are together and with God. So as you receive this joyful feast, come exactly as you are. There is more than enough. Come, for all is ready.
Instrumental Music During Communion
Prayer After Communion
Holy Mystery, through communion we unite our bodies with your body, and in unity we gain strength and hope. We give thanks for your transforming love. Like the sacraments, we know that love is a doing, and so we ask for your help to turn this nourishment into love for all we meet. Amen.
Service of Shadows Introduction by Pastor
Reading 1 – The soldier’s words. – Mark 15:16-32
After sharing the meal, that same night, Jesus went out to pray and was betrayed into the hands of the Romans by Judas. The soldiers led Jesus inside the courtyard of the fortress and called together the rest of the troops. They put a purple robe on him, and on his head they placed a crown that they had made
out of thorn branches. They made fun of Jesus and shouted, “Hey, you king of the Jews!” Then they beat him on the head with a stick. They spit on him and knelt down and pretended to worship him.
When the soldiers had finished making fun of Jesus, they took off the purple robe. They put his own clothes back on him and led him off to be nailed to a cross. Simon from Cyrene happened to be coming in from a farm, and they forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.
Kyrie Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy) Theresa Woody, solo
Reading 2 – Pilate’s words. John 19:7-22.
“Kill him! Kill him!” they yelled. “Nail him to a cross!”
“So you want me to nail your king to a cross?” Pilate asked.
The chief priests replied, “The Emperor is our king!” Then Pilate handed Jesus over to be nailed to a cross.
Jesus was taken away, and he carried his cross to a place known as “The Skull.” In Aramaic this place is called “Golgotha.” There Jesus was nailed to the cross, and on each side of him a man was also nailed to a cross.
Pilate ordered the charge against Jesus to be written on a board and put above the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” The words were written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. The place where Jesus was taken wasn’t far from the city, and many of the Jewish people read the charge against him. So the chief priests went to Pilate and said, “Why did you write that he is King of the Jews? You should have written, ‘He claimed to be King of the Jews.’”
But Pilate told them, “What is written will not be changed!” “What I’ve written, I’ve written.”
Reading 3 – The Crowds’ words. Mark 15:25-32
It was about nine o’clock in the morning when they nailed him to the cross. On it was a sign that told why he was nailed there. It read, “This is the King of the Jews.” The soldiers also nailed two criminals on crosses, one to the right of Jesus and the other to his left.
People who passed by said terrible things about Jesus. They shook their heads and shouted, “Ha! So you’re the one who claimed you could tear down the temple and build it again in three days. Save yourself and come down from the cross!”
The chief priests and the teachers of the Law of Moses also made fun of Jesus. They said to each other, “He saved others, but he can’t save himself. If he is the Messiah, the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross! Then we will see and believe.” The two criminals also said cruel things to Jesus.
*Hymn Ah, Holy Jesus NCH 213
Reading 4 – Mary’s words. John 19:25-27.
Jesus’ mother stood beside his cross with her sister and Mary the wife of Clopas. Mary Magdalene was standing there too.When Jesus saw his mother and his favorite disciple with her, he said to his mother, “This man is now your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “She is now your mother.” From then on, that disciple took her into his own home.
Reading 5 – The thief’s words. Luke 23:39-43.
One of the criminals joined in the cruel talk: You’re supposed to be the Anointed One, right? Well—do it! Rescue Yourself and us!
But the other criminal told him to be quiet: Don’t you have any fear of God at all? You’re getting the same death sentence He is! We’re getting what we deserve since we’ve committed crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong at all! Turning to Jesus he said: Jesus, when You come into Your kingdom, please remember me.
Jesus answered: I promise you that this very day you will be with Me in paradise.
Chancel Choir When Jesus Wept by William Billings (192)
Reading 6 – The bystander’s words. Matthew 27:45-50.
At noon the sky turned dark and stayed that way until three o’clock. Then about that time Jesus shouted, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you deserted me?”
Some of the people standing there heard Jesus and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” One of them at once ran and grabbed a sponge. He soaked it in wine, then put it on a stick and held it up to Jesus.
Others said, “Wait! Let’s see if Elijah will come and save him.” Once again Jesus shouted, and then he died.
Reading 7 – The soldiers words. Matthew 27:51-56.
At once the curtain in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and rocks split apart. Graves opened, and many of God’s people were raised to life. Then after Jesus had risen to life, they came out of their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.
The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son!” Many women had come with Jesus from Galilee to be of help to him, and they were there, looking on at a distance. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John were some of these women.
*Hymn Were You There? NCH 229 verses 1, 2, 3
Reading 8 – Joseph’s words. Matthew 27: 57-61.
That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea went and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away. All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.
Music Condemned by TWoody 2019
(Veiling of the Cross)
Benediction Pastor Nathan
It is Finished
One day, one day we will say,
“It is finished”
and not in reference to the suffering that took place
in a school shooting, in a police raid, in a boat of immigrants packed too tightly.
One day we will say,
“It is finished,”
but not in reference to a fight against addiction, another catastrophic storm,
a broken marriage that got lost along the way.
One day, one day we will say,
“It is finished”
and only mean the book we just read, the cake we just baked,
the song that made us sing, the meal around the table,
the familiar drive back home.
Until then I will say,
“I am thirsty,”
but I still believe in one day.
— By Rev. Sarah Speed
Permission to podcast/stream the music in this service obtained from OneLicense with license #A714152
About the Author of Maundy Thursday liturgy: Adrian White
Adrian (they/them) is a writer, Texan, and third year MDiv student at Vanderbilt Divinity School. They grew up in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and feel called to the work of bringing to life the
church’s growing commitments to the inclusion and thriving of all children of God! They are proud to serve on the board of More Light Presbyterians. In Nashville, Adrian serves on staff at Woodland Presbyterian Church and organizes with Southerners On New Ground (SONG). When not working and studying, Adrian
enjoys playing board games with their spouse Wynn and taking long walks with their dog Bex.
Parts of this service come from: We Receive and Hand On: Prayers for Maundy Thursday was written by the Rev. Dr. Renee C. Jackson, Minister for Ministerial Formation, MESA Team
Copyright 2021 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.