Holy Thursday

Service For Holy Thursday

“If I, the Lord and Teacher”, says the Lord,

“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.”

May the Lord and servant Jesus be with us always. 

In readiness for this time of prayer, have everything that you need in place. We will not be rattling through the material! What follows is meant to help us identify with the different thoughts and prayers and make both our own, If there are times in the service when you say to yourself “I can really identify with what is being said and asked of us” and you turn those moments into the simplest and shortest of prayers then you’ll know you’re on the right track.

The Gospel of John was written two generations after the crucifixion of Jesus. It is set in a time when the Roman Empire controlled Jerusalem. Jesus and his followers were Jewish and lived under that oppressive regime. The Gospel reflects a period of unprecedented criticism and antagonism between the emerging church and the religious establishment of the Jewish people. The meal shared by Jesus with his friends was dangerous because it reversed reality and turned the thinking of the world upside down. Before sharing the meal, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, in this way he showed and stressed what the church was all about, imaging for us all what the church is supposed to look like, feel like, act like. In the mind of Jesus, total self-forgetting and serving love must be the mark of the disciple. We dream about belonging to that kind of church but what do we do to bring it about?

Penitential Act: Please think about these petitions and how they might apply to ourselves:

Lord in the Eucharist, you call us together to be one in you, but there are times when we fail to set our differences to one side and to build up justice and love among us. 

Lord have mercy

Christ our Lord in the Eucharist you serve us, but service and sacrifice for others are often too costly to consider. 

Christ have mercy

Lord in the Eucharist you continue to share yourself with us, but when we share we often measure and weigh our gifts and we don’t give ourselves.

Lord in your mercy

May the Lord have mercy on us, forgive us our lack of love and service and lead us to eternal life. Amen

Song: “As I Have Done For You” sung by Dan Shutte

The Word of God         

Listen to the recording of the Last Supper Narrative by pressing the relevant button under the heading. At the end of the reading, allow yourself time to take in the message of the Scripture. 

Let me offer you a thought for these few moments of reflection: 

Peter in that Gospel passage knew exactly what was happening, nothing would ever be the same again. 

In dispensing with rank and superiority God was at work in Jesus – serving people. The great inequality between God and people, between priest and people, between teacher and student is wiped away as a consequence of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. 

Only friendship characterised by service to all, reflects the will of God who becomes a servant in Jesus and in us wherever we are, whatever we’re doing.

After your reflection time, listen to the song below; “This is at Yahweh asks of you.”

As you would do at Mass pray now for the needs of the world and think carefully what it is that we are asking God to grant us:

We pray for all who are part of our community that through sharing in the Eucharist we may more fully become the Body of Christ and give faithful witness until Christ comes again. 

Lord in your mercy

We pray for those to whom we are committed, particularly our families, communities and friends, that as ones committed to foot washing we may be faithful to them and a source of God’s life for them.

Lord in your mercy.

We pray for those facing critical and difficult decisions tonight that God will light a path for them giving them strength, and help them to trust in God’s unconditional love for them.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for all who are burdened by separation from others because of the Coronavirus, that they may know God’s presence with them and have their strength and patience renewed.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for those who have died throughout the world as a result of the virus and remember also Sheila Mooney and David Roberts whose funerals will take place in the coming week.

Lord in your mercy

Pray now for your own particular needs and the needs of the people who love you most.

As sons and daughters of a loving Father we pray as one family in the words that Jesus himself taught us.  Our Father who art in heaven…………

We have listened to the Word of God, prayed for the needs of the church and the world, prayed in the words Jesus taught us so let us now gather together our thoughts and prayers as we say:

Jesus lived for us, Jesus died for us.  Let us accompany him this Holy Week on his way to the Cross, that he may always accompany us on our way of service and commitment to God and to one another. And may almighty God give us strength and bless us + in the mane of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen

Final Music:  Spend the last few minutes of this service speaking to the Lord about what you think and how you feel at this moment in time.  Our service ends with music reminding us of the meaning of the Eucharist.

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