Monday, April 02, 2012

Holy Thursday

Call to Worship
L: In remembrance, we gather:
P: to be with the One who teaches us the meaning of faithfulness.
L: In remembrance, we worship:
P: lifting our voices to the One who calls us to love one another.
L: In remembrance, we feast:
P: breaking the Bread which makes us whole,
drinking the Cup which fills us with grace.

Evening Prayer
It was the beginning of hope
on that night long ago,
Liberating God,
as you prepared to lead
your people to freedom.
As they readied themselves,
you fed them
with your unblemished grace,
so all sin, pain, and bitterness
could be set down and left behind
when it was time
to follow you.

It was the beginning of salvation
on that night long ago,
Servant Lord,
as you prepared your disciples
for all the things which were to happen.
You humbled yourself
by washing their feet,
so they could follow you
in service and love
to a world which would reject you
and hang you on a cross.

We tell these stories once again
on this night of remembrance,
Servant's Spirit.
Here is the Bread
which gives us life;
here is the Cup
which slakes our thirst for justice;
here is the towel
with which we wipe the tears
of the broken-hearted;
here is the basin
which cleanses the stains
of the world.

Prepare us for our journey of discipleship,
God in Community, Holy in One,
as we pray as our Servant, Jesus Christ,
teaches us, saying,
Our Father . . .

Call to Reconciliation
How is it people will recognize us as followers of Jesus? Simply by how we
treat one another. Let us confess how we have not loved as Christ loves us.

Unison Prayer of Confession
Creator and Loving God, you kneel to wash our feet, yet we are reluctant
for you to see all the places we have gone in our attempts to escape you.
You would bathe us in the warm, living waters of your love, and though we
splash and play in the puddles of temptation. We have received all the
gifts you have to offer, yet we are tempted to think they are only for us,
rather than sharing them.

Forgive us, Holy One, and have mercy on us. What can we give you for all
your wonderful graciousness towards us? As you have broken your heart for
us, may we open ours in service to others. As you have given your life for
us, may we offer ours to bring healing to the world. As you have called us
together around your Table, may we go forth to feed a world hungry, not only
for food, but for that Spirit which brings peace and reconciliation. This
we pray as servants of Jesus Christ, who came to serve us in life, in death,
in resurrection hope.

Silence is kept

Assurance of Pardon

L: On this holiest of nights, we have received the good news: God has come
in Christ Jesus, to fill us with hope and peace, to bathe us in grace and
P: In remembrance, we go forth:
to bring hope where despair resides;
to be servants to those who are broken;
to love as selflessly as we are loved by Jesus Christ, our Lord
Savior. Amen.

Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
When the hour had come, Creator of the heavens and earth,
you lifted up the cup of creation,
pouring it into the emptiness of chaos.
Rivers played tag through the valleys,
stars spangled the blue-black night,
joy danced in the fields of grace.
Given that fountain flowing with living water,
we drank from betrayal's bitter cup;
offered the feast of faith,
we sat down at sin's groaning table.
You asked the prophets to remind us of promises made,
but we continued to embrace the pangs of hopelessness.
Then, because we are your own, you sent Jesus
to glorify you by saving us from ourselves.

Therefore, with those whose feet are covered with sin,
and those who hearts are gripped by fear,
we join the choirs of every time and place,
forever singing your praises:

P: Holy, holy, holy, God of towels and basins.
We join heaven and earth in praising your name.
Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is the One who became a servant for us.
Hosanna in the highest!

Holy are you, God of Redemption,
and blessed is Jesus Christ, our Servant, our Savior.
When the hour had come, he got up from grace's side,
took off his glory, tied humanity around his heart
to cleanse us of our sins.
In the midst of his friends, in the congregation of his enemies,
he kept the promised made to you, to love us to the very end.
our friend, he welcomed all;
our teacher, he modeled the life of obedience and faith;
our Lord, he endured the snares of death,
that we might have life with you.

Every time we eat the bread, our brokenness is made whole;
every time we drink from the cup, we receive unceasing grace;
every time we come to the Table,
we remember that mystery called faith:

P: In remembrance, we mourn Christ's death;
in remembrance, we look to the Day of Resurrection;
in remembrance, we await his return to us.

Now that the hour is come,
send your Spirit upon the gifts
of the bread and the cup.
As you cradle the bread in your gentleness,
break it, give it to us, feed us with your compassion
that we might be made whole
and, in our healing,
become servants to a shattered world.
As you take the cup,
mingle its juices with your tears of hope,
so we might carry this gift
to all who have lost every thing.

and when there are no more hours to come,
when there is only eternal peace and life with you,
we will gather in that upper room called your heart,
serving our families and friends with grace,
receiving forgiveness from our enemies,
singing your joy, forever and ever,
God in Community, Holy in One. Amen.

(c) Thom M. Shuman