Maundy Thursday Worship Service

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March 28, 2024

Theme of the Day

The Thursday of Holy Week is known as Maundy Thursday. On that night Jesus gave his disciples the command (Latin “mandre”) to love one another. On this night of his betrayal, the eve of his atoning death, he also instituted the Lord’s Supper, or Holy Communion, which we celebrate tonight. 

Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face – CW 660

1 Here, O my Lord, I see you face to face;
    here would I touch and handle things unseen,
here grasp with firmer hand eternal grace,
    and all my weariness upon you lean.

2 This is the hour of banquet and of song;
    this is the heav’nly table spread anew.
Here let me feast and, feasting, still prolong
    the brief bright hour of fellowship with you.

3 I have no help but yours nor do I need
    another arm but yours to lean upon.
It is enough, O Lord, enough indeed;
    my strength is in your might, your might alone.

4 Mine is the sin but yours the righteousness;
    mine is the guilt but yours the cleansing blood.
Here is my robe, my refuge, and my peace:
    your blood, your righteousness, O Lord, my God.


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.


Lord Jesus Christ, in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, you give us your true body and blood as a remembrance of your suffering and death on a cross. Grant us so firmly to believe your words and promise that we may always partake of this sacrament to our eternal good; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Reading – 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

  Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

Gospel – Mark 14:12-26

  On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”
  So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”
  The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
  When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me – one who is eating with me.”
  They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
  “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
  While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
  Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.
  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them. “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
  When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

When You Woke That Thursday Morning – CW 416

1 When you woke that Thursday morning,
    Savior, teacher, faithful friend,
thoughts of self and safety scorning,
    knowing how the day would end;
Lamb of God, foretold for ages,
    now at last the hour had come
when but One could pay sin’s wages:
    you assumed their dreadful sum.

2 Never so alone and lonely,
    longing with tormented heart
to be with your dear ones only
    for a quiet hour apart:
sinless Lamb and fallen creature,
    one last paschal meal to eat,
one last lesson as their teacher,
    washing your disciples’ feet.

3 What was there that you could give them
    that would never be outspent,
what great gift that would outlive them,
    what last will and testament?
“Show me and the world you love me,
    know me as the Lamb of God:
do this in remembrance of me,
    eat this body, drink this blood.”

4 One in faith, in love united,
    all one body, you the head,
when we meet, by you invited,
    you are with us, as you said.
One with you and one another
    in a unity sublime,
see in us your sister, brother,
    one in ev’ry place and time.

5 One day all the Church will capture
    that bright vision glorious,
and your saints will know the rapture
    that your heart desired for us,
when the longed-for peace and union
    of the greatest and the least
meet in joyous, blest communion
    in your never-ending feast.

Sermon – 1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Prepare to Participate

Junior Choir – The Garden of Gethsemane

Confession and Absolution

Brothers and sisters in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard again how our Lord walked the path of suffering which led him to the cross for our salvation. We have also heard our Lord’s call to intensify our struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that keeps us from loving God and one another. This is the struggle to which we were committed at Baptism; God’s forgiveness and the power of his Spirit to amend our lives continue with us because of his love for us in Jesus our Savior.

Within the family of the Church, God never wearies of giving peace and new life. In the absolution, we receive forgiveness as from God himself. We should not doubt this absolution but firmly believe that our sins are thus forgiven before God in heaven, for it comes to us in the name and by the command of our Lord.

We who receive God’s love in Jesus Christ are called to love one another, to be servants to each other, as Jesus became our servant.

In Holy Communion, first instituted on this night, the members of Christ’s body participate most intimately in his love. Remembering our Lord’s Last Supper with his disciples, we eat the bread and drink the cup of this meal. Together we receive the Lord’s gift of his body and blood for forgiveness and participate in that new covenant that makes us one with him and one another. The Lord’s Supper is the promise of the great banquet we will share with all the faithful when our Lord returns, the joyous culmination of our reconciliation with God and each other.

As we begin the solemn celebration of our Lord’s passion, let us confess our sins to him, receive his absolution, and be reconciled to God and each other in Christian love.
Holy God, gracious Father,
    I am sinful by nature
        and have sinned against you in my thoughts, words, and actions.
    I have not loved you with my whole heart;
    I have not loved others as I should.
        I deserve your punishment both now and forever.
    But Jesus, my Savior, paid for my sins
        with his innocent suffering and death.
    Trusting in him, I pray: God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Silence for meditation and reflection

Our gracious Father in heaven has been merciful to us. He sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, who gave his life as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has forgiven us, has reconciled us to God, and has promised us the power to forgive and love one another. Relying on his promise, therefore, be reconciled with one another.
Brothers and sisters, may the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, in our words, and in our actions.


The Lord be with you.
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give him thanks and praise.

Proper Preface

It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give you thanks, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who brought the gift of salvation to all people by his death on the tree of the cross so that the devil, who overcame us by a tree, would in turn by a tree be overcome. Therefore, with all the saints on earth and hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name.

Draw Near and Take the Body of Your Lord – CW 661

2 Christ our Redeemer, God’s eternal Son,
has by his cross and blood the vict’ry won.
He gave his life for greatest and for least,
himself the off’ring and himself the priest.

Words of Institution

Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

Draw Near and Take the Body of Your Lord – CW 661

1 Draw near and take the body of your Lord,
and drink the holy blood for you outpoured.
Saved by his body and his holy blood,
with souls refreshed we give our thanks to God.

3 Let us approach with faithful hearts sincere
and take the pledges of salvation here.
Christ, who in this life all the saints defends,
gives all believers life that never ends.

Pax Domini

The peace of the Lord be with you always.


Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness – CW 663

1 Soul, adorn yourself with gladness;
leave behind all gloom and sadness.
    Come into the daylight’s splendor;
    there with joy your praises render
unto him whose grace unbounded
has this wondrous supper founded.
    He, though reigning high and holy,
    deigns to dwell with you most lowly.

2 Hasten as a bride to meet him,
and with loving rev’rence greet him,
    for with words of life immortal
    he is knocking at your portal.
Open wide the gates before him,
saying, as you there adore him:
    Grant, Lord, that I now receive you,
    that I nevermore will leave you.

3 He who craves a precious treasure
neither cost nor pain will measure,
    but the priceless gifts of heaven
    God to us has freely given.
Though the wealth of earth were proffered,
naught would buy the gifts here offered:
    Christ’s true body, for you riven,
    and his blood, for you once given.

4 Now I kneel before you lowly,
filled with joy most deep and holy,
    as with trembling awe and wonder
    on your mighty work I ponder,
by such mystery surrounded,
depths that no one ever sounded.
    None may dare to pierce unbidden
    secrets that with you are hidden.

5 Human reason, though it ponders,
cannot fathom these great wonders,
    that Christ’s body must be boundless
    since the souls it feeds are countless,
and that he his blood is giving
with the wine we are receiving.
    These great mysteries unsounded
    are by God alone expounded.

6 Lord, by love and mercy driven,
you have left your throne in heaven
    on the cross for me to languish
    and to die in bitter anguish,
to forgo all joy and gladness
and to shed your blood in sadness.
    By this blood redeemed and living,
    Lord, I praise you with thanksgiving.

7 Jesus, sun of life, my splendor,
Jesus, friend of friends most tender,
    Jesus, joy of my desiring,
    fount of life, my soul inspiring:
at your feet I cry, my maker,
let me be a fit partaker
    of this blessèd food from heaven
    for our good, your glory, given.

8 Jesus, Lord of life in heaven,
help me when this meal is given
    to receive it for my blessing
    as I come, my sins confessing.
In this supper let me measure,
Lord, how deep is your love’s treasure,
    that, as I on earth have eaten,
    I may be your guest in heaven.


O Lord, in this wondrous sacrament, you have left us a remembrance of your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of your body and blood that the fruits of your redemption may continually be manifest in us; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in heaven,
    hallowed be your name,
    your kingdom come,
    your will be done
        on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    as we forgive those
    who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
    and the glory are yours
    now and forever. Amen.


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Here, O My Lord, I See You Face to Face – CW 660

5 Too soon we rise; the vessels disappear;
    the feast, though not the love, is past and gone.
The bread and wine remove, but you are here,
    nearer than ever, still my shield and sun.

6 Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,
    yet, passing, points to that glad feast above,
giving sweet foretaste of the festal joy,
    the Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.

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