A Maundy Thursday Liturgy (#1)

This liturgy is essentially an extended Eucharistic Prayer. The focus is on communion with Christ. The Eucharistic prayer is long—it takes up most of the service. You may break it up with appropriate music wherever it fits best.

Click here to download this service in a .doc format.

A Maundy Thursday Liturgy

This is my command: that you love one another as I have loved you.”
—John 15.12


Dearly Beloved, siblings in Christ, in this Holy Week we proclaim the mystery of our faith as we behold the great love of Jesus, and contemplate his call for us to love one another. As Jesus faced his death with humility, compassion and grace, pray that we may watch with him in his passion. Set us free from our bondage to self, that by your grace we may enter into the fellowship of his suffering, trusting in your grace alone. Grant that in his spirit we may freely serve one another in all lowliness, for the sake of your will.


God of grace, as Jesus called his beloved friends to the table, so you call us now, to share in table fellowship as sisters and brothers, to give thanks for Jesus, and to receive him into our hearts. Fill us with the love of Christ, that we may be his faithful disciples. Amen.

GOSPEL John 13.1-17, 31-35



Pastor: God of love, we give thanks for the mystery of this meal, in which, even in our sin, you offer us love and grace. Therefore we are bold to confess our sin to you with one another.
All: Merciful God, we confess that we have not loved you with all our heart, nor loved our neighbors as ourselves. In our fear we have withheld compassion. In selfishness we have thought ourselves separate from others. We have betrayed Christ. We repent of our sin, and ask your forgiveness.
Sisters and brothers, you are forgiven. Trust in the grace of God.
We are forgiven. You are forgiven. We trust in the grace of God.


Gracious God, grant us Christ’s spirit of humility, obedience and love.
Set us free from our bondage to self, that by your grace we may enter into the fellowship of his suffering and the body of his love, trusting in your grace alone. Grant that in his spirit we may freely serve one another in all lowliness, for the sake of your will. Amen.

PSALM Psalm 116

Dearly Beloved, this is no ordinary meal, for Jesus himself has invited us,
and in it we experience his presence:
in the bread, in the sharing, and in one another.
Thanks be to God.
Jesus’ ministry was teaching and healing; it was also eating and drinking,
with friends, with strangers, even with enemies.
The accusation against him was true: “He eats with sinners.”
and so he invites us to dine with him, in love, in forgiveness, in community.
Thanks be to God.

God is with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your heart.
We lift them up to God.
Let us give thanks to the Holy One, our God.
It is good and beautiful to give God our praise.

Blessed are you, O God, Creator of the Universe,
Infinite Love at the heart of all things.
You have given us the gifts of earth and food,
of life and blessing, and we thank you.

As we bless this bread we thank you for all your gifts
and praise you for all your blessings.

[You are invited to call out all of the blessings for which you are thankful. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord!]

Holy God, Creator of this world and all that is to come,
we give thanks for your mighty acts of mercy.
You brought Creation out of chaos, light out of darkness.
You formed us in your image
and breathed into us the breath of life.
You made your Covenant with us, to be our God.
You condemn the powers that oppress us,
and set free your beloved people.
Even when our love fails, you remain steadfast.
You love us and redeem us
and bring us up out of slavery
in the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

You deliver us from our imprisonment in ourselves
and restore us to your beloved community.
In your Spirit you make us one body,
and draw us to your table as sisters and brothers.

Therefore we remember with love and gratitude
the cloud of witnesses who surround us and who have gone before.

[You are invited to share the names of all those whom you wish to remember, near or far, living or dead.]

SCRIPTURE Hebrews 12.1-3

For the gift of community, we give you thanks.
We ask your blessing for each person gathered here,
and for those whom we do not see—
for family and ancestors,
for travelers and sojourners,
for people in far off lands, for immigrants and strangers,
prisoners and laborers,
for all the faithful and their pastors,
for teachers and healers,

for our enemies and those whom we do not understand,
and for those people to whom you will send us
in humble, loving service.
For all your saints, known to us and unknown, we give thanks
and pray that in this meal we may be made one.
For your covenant of love, we give you thanks.
For the gift of Creation, for your faithful providence,
and for your mighty acts of salvation, we thank you.
As the grains of wheat are gathered and made into one loaf,
so in this meal we are one in the love of Jesus, the Body of Christ.
And so with all your Beloved, we praise you with one voice:

            [Sanctus, spoken or sung:]
        Holy, holy, holy One, 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 God.
        Hosanna in the highest.
               [or alternate version]

Blessed is Jesus, your Christ, who comes in your name,
who embodies your love among us,
who gives himself to us for heavenly food.
Jesus taught us of the Realm of your grace,
the banquet of your generous love.
He healed our bodies, our souls, our relationships,
and set us free from our fear.
On the night in which he gave himself for us,
he gathered his beloved for a meal.
In our fear and isolation he made a community.
In the face of injustice he showed generosity.
Against the powers of evil he shared love.
Amidst our betrayal he gave a feast of self-giving.
Though divine, Christ did not cling to equality with God,
but in complete self-emptying took the form of a servant,
becoming humble to the point of death, even death on a cross.


In the bread we feast on the love of Christ;
and in the cup we drink of his sacrifice for us,
and of the cup of pain and sorrow that all must drink who dare to love.
Fill us with the wine of gratitude, O God,
that we may both drink and share the cup of compassion.
In offering his body and blood to us, Jesus enters into our suffering.
Therefore we pray for all who suffer, for you, O God, are one with them.
Be with us in all our sorrows, O Christ,
and all who watch or wait this night.
Be with those who are sick or poor, in grief or afraid,
those who are imprisoned or enslaved,
victims of torture, persecution or oppression,
those who suffer from addiction or violence.
Gentle Christ, we thank for your great love,
for which you suffered the torture of the cross.
In your presence may all who suffer find hope and courage
and come to know the true promise of resurrection.

[You are invited to name victims of injustice for whom we pray.]

Other intercessory prayers may be offered here.

Gracious God, in Christ you have renewed your Covenant
to be our God and to be with us in blessing eternally.
You have brought about your new Passover:
for it was Christ who offered himself as the Passover lamb,
that the power of death may pass over us, and that,
in your suffering for our sin, all condemnation be destroyed.

The Blessing and Covenant (“Words of Institution”)…

In the Covenant of your forgiveness of our sin, we receive new life.
Therefore, remembering these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ,
we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving
in union with Christ’s offering for us
as we proclaim the mystery of our faith:

             [Memorial Acclamation, spoken or sung:]
        Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
        Dying, Christ destroyed our death. Rising, Christ restores our life.
        Christ will come again in glory.
             [or alternative]

SCRIPTURE Isaiah 42.1-4

Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and cup,
that they may be for us the Body and Blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Renew your Spirit within us, O God,
grant us the peace of Christ,
and unite us with all who share in this meal.
In this meal you grant us solidarity with all who suffer,
that we may enter into the brokenness of the world;
May we, bearing the light of your resurrection,
live as signs of your covenant with all Creation,
and the coming of the Realm you have promised.

We pray that every oppressive force may be undone,
including those in which we have a part.
We ask for the courage and compassion of your Spirit,
that we may pray and work for justice for all people.
God of mercy, set us free, and free all your beloved children.
May your Spirit live in us, that we may be fearless in love,
and unafraid to give of ourselves.
Make us your humble servants for the healing of the world,
according to your will.
May your Word be made flesh by all your holy Church,
in the love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Amen, spoken or sung

THE PRAYER OF JESUS (“Lord’s Prayer”)



Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery
in which you have given yourself to us.
You have affirmed anew your covenant to be with us in blessing.
You have given us the Body of Christ,
and made us the Body of Christ:
you have united us with one another
and with the crucified and risen Christ.

In the grace of your forgiveness,
in the power of your resurrecting love,
send us into the world to be the healing hands of Christ.
Renew your Spirit within us, and grant us the peace of Christ,
that we may enter into the brokenness of the world,
and, bearing the light of your resurrection,
live as signs of the Realm you have promised.
In the grace of your communion with us,
strengthen us for the work of justice and healing.

Grant that we may be taken as your beloved,
blessed as the body of Christ in your Covenant,
broken, crucified for the healing of all people,
and given, raised, for the building of justice
and the redemption of all Creation.
In your Spirit we are one with you, one with each other,
one in ministry to the world.
“This is my commandment,” Jesus says,
that you love one another as I have loved you.”
May we live in love according to your grace,
in the name and Spirit of Christ. Amen.





Suggested songs

In Your Love (Tune: What Wondrous Love)

Our thanks we give to you, holy God, Loving One.
All earth and heaven shine with your love.
You form us wonderfully, and love us faithfully,
and come and set us free by your love, by your love.
Hosanna, God on high, Loving One!

How blest is Christ, who comes in your name, in your love,
who blessed and taught and healed in your love.
In love your Christ has died, is risen at our side,
and still will come again in your love, in your love,
and Christ will come again in your love.

Pour out your Spirit, God, on this bread, on this wine:
for they are Christ made real in your love.
Make us the Body, too, of Christ, now sent from you,
that we your will may do in your love, in your love.
We offer you our lives in your love.

This is the Passover (Original song)

This is the Passover you have desired to share
as you deliver us out of our slavery and fear.

This is the new living Covenant, sealed in your blood.
Grant that it may be fulfilled in the Kin-dom of God.

Stripped in our suffering of all but our need for your grace,
join us to you in your dying and rising, O Christ.

This is our passing from death into life, one with you.
Grant us your Spirit, united, set free and made new.

You Feed Us, Gentle Savior
      (Tune: O Sacred Head Now Wounded)

You feed us, gentle savior, the bread that makes us whole,
the wine of your compassion poured out into our soul,
the food of your own presence, your spirit, strong, within,
the grace that heals us deeply and overcomes our sin.

You bind us, gentle savior, and weave us into one,
one flesh and blood, made holy, the Body of your Son.
We gather here in hunger, one hunger, all the same;
and with one grace you bless us together in his name.

You call us, gentle savior, and send us in your name.
You teach and heal and show us how we can do the same.
So strengthened by your Spirit and nourished by your grace,
we go to be your presence in love, in every place.

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