Maundy Thursday: What is it all about?

On Maundy Thursday we remember the Last Supper and the Washing of the Feet.

Maundy or Holy Thursday takes it’s name from the Latin word “mandatum”, meaning command. This is because on the day before he died, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment – to love one another – which he showed himself by the act of washing their feet.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34)

We also remember the Last Supper, where Jesus celebrated the first Eucharist and gave us himself to us in under the appearance of bread and wine – knowing he would really be offering his very body and blood to give us life the very next day. He asks us to “do this in memory” of him and this is something that we celebrate everyday in church.

So today, give thanks for your priests, who help us to do this in a special way at each Mass. And we thank Jesus for the gift of Holy Communion, where we can truly receive Jesus into our bodies to give us life, strength and hope!

You can find the story of Washing of the Feet in John 13: 1-15

and the Last Supper in Luke 22: 14-20

Craft Activity

Make Unleavened Bread with Shoreline Church

Maundy Thursday at Home

As most of us will be remembering the Last Supper at home, you may wish to have a prayer time with your family and have a bit of fun re-enacting this day:

  • Make bread together, using the recipe opposite
  • Buy some grape juice
  • Have someone be Jesus (you can dress up if you like!) and then the others can be the disciples.
  • Someone in your family can read the story of the Last Supper from the Bible and you can use the flatbread and grape juice that you have prepared to act out the story.
  • Share a short time of prayer together. Thanks God for giving us his son and for the gift of Holy Communion.
  • Finish by washing your family members feet! Do this prayerfully, using a bowl of warm water and a towel. Remember this represents as act of service and of love. Maybe play a hymn or some instrumental music on a device and keep quiet as you do it.
  • I would suggest the oldest person in the family starting and washing the feet of the person closest to them in age. the youngest person can then wash the oldest person’s feet. Maybe, once you’ve washed someone’s foot, you can look at them, saying “NAME, know that you are loved by God”
  • You can watch the Mass on Maundy Thursday via live-stream at 8:00 pm on Thursday 1 April. (It will be very different this year, because of covid restrictions, so you will not see the washing of feet).

Happy Birthday to our Priests!

Did you know that today marks the birthday of our Priests?

By giving the command to “do this in memory of me” at the Last Supper, Christ appointed the apostles as priests. Every priest is ordained to stand in the place of Jesus at Mass and to make Jesus present to us at the moment of consecration. Our priests are amazing!

It’s at the Maundy Thursday Mass that priests renew their priestly vows every year – a wonderful moment when they recommit their lives to serving God and the Church – that means each one of us!

Gracious and loving God,

We thank you for the gift of our priests.
Through them, we experience your presence in the sacraments.

Help our priests to be strong in their vocation.
Set their souls on fire with love for your people.

Grant them the wisdom, understanding, and strength they need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Inspire them with the vision of your Kingdom.

Give them the words they need to spread the Gospel.
Allow them to experience joy in their work.

Help them to become instruments of your divine grace.

We ask this through Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns as our Eternal Priest.

Amen.

What can we do to celebrate our priests?

  • Wish your priest “Happy Birthday” if you see them on Maundy Thursday!
  • Make a thank you card for your priest, showing that you appreciate what they do.
  • Keep Fr Peter, Fr Antonio and, indeed, all priests in prayer.  Add their names to your prayer list.

A Prayer to Say

As I have done for you, you should also do…

Dear Lord,

On this Holy Thursday, let us give thanks for the gift of Holy Communion.

We thank you that you are with us in such a special way when we go to Mass.

Help us to be good disciples, by loving, giving, serving and forgiving as you did.

May we always try to live like you, treating those around us with love, care and dignity.

AMEN

 

A Song for Today

The Servant King by Graham Kendrick

This beautiful song reminds us to be servant-hearted, as Jesus was.

Here are the words to the chorus, so that you can join in:

This is our God, the Servant King

He calls us now to follow him

To bring our lives as a daily offering

Of worship to the Servant King