Agape Meal with Foot Washing
On the night before he died, Jesus shared one last meal with his disciples and friends. There he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying “Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.” After supper he took the cup of wine; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, “Drink this, all of you: This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me.” The institution of the Eucharist is found in Matthew (26:26-29), Mark (14:22-25), and Luke (22:17-20), and is recounted by Paul (1 Cor. 11:23-26).
John’s telling of the Last Supper focuses not on bread and wine, but on foot washing. After supper, Jesus gets up from the table to wash the feet of his disciples as an example of humble service. He then gives them a new commandment: that they love one another.
In this home observance of Maundy Thursday, we remember our longing to share in the Eucharist with our church family and the commandment to love one another.
Prepare a simple meal. Light a candle. Say the blessings (if there are multiple voices/readers, have different people say each blessing).
THE BLESSINGS (adapted from the Book of Occasional Services 2018 by the Rev. Dr. James Farwell and Dr. Lisa Kimball)
Over Wine (if you have it, or juice)
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe. You create the fruit of the vine; and you refresh us with the cup of salvation in the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. May the time come quickly when we can share that cup again, even as you are with us now in our very thirst for you. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.
Over Bread (if you have it, or tortillas)
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth; and you have fed us on our way with the bread of life in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ. Let us be fed again soon with that bread of life. And as grain scattered upon the earth is gathered into one loaf, so gather your Church in every place into the kingdom of your Son. To you be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.
Over the Other Foods
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, Ruler of the universe. You have blessed the earth to bring forth food to satisfy our hunger. Let this food strengthen us for the days ahead, that following our Savior in the way of the cross, we may come to the joy of his resurrection. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and for ever. Amen.
THE FOOT WASHING
After the meal, read aloud or recount in your own words John 13:1-17. Have a large bowl or basin, a pitcher of warm water, and clean towels available. As you wash one another’s feet, say:
Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should
love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If your children are young, you can tell the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet during bath time and recount the new commandment as you wash your child’s feet. Invite them to wash your feet as a sign of love.
You may wish to sing together or listen to “Ubi Caritas,” a Taizé chant traditionally sung on Maundy Thursday or “Jesu, Jesu,” a song we often sing in Children’s Chapel. You can get a version of Ubi Caritas here. Conclude with a period of prayer, offering thanksgivings and intercessions before saying together the Lord’s Prayer. And join us for the stripping of the altar via LiveStream on our Facebook page: facebook.com/smaaabq