7:00 pm Service of Foot and Hand Washing
Jesus taught that leadership begins with service. The act of washing the feet of guests after a journey was usually the work of slaves, but Jesus insisted on washing the feet of his disciples on the night before he was betrayed. It was an act intended to honor and welcome those who serve. Either hands or feet will be washed with warm water scented with oil, then dried with fresh towels.
Gathering Music Within the Darkest Night D. Hakes Union Church Handbell Ensemble
Kyrie Ukrainian Orthodox Monondy of the XVth Century
Greeting and Invitation
One: On this night we remember the events that led up to Jesus’ betrayal, desertion and death. We recall his pain and anguish as he prepared to meet the consequences of his faithfulness to God’s way. Through the Passover meal he shared with his friends, this night is different from all other nights, for in it we remember the cost of the love Jesus had for us. Let us enter the story and allow mystery to surround us. But let us keep silence when we have heard it and the service is over. Stay to pray as long as you wish, in the darkness and silence of this holy night. Then go to keep the story in your heart. For, like the disciples in that first Holy Week, we fail to follow the light, we pretend we don’t know God, and we too deny all that Jesus teaches. The world suffers and we do not respond.
One: Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”
All: For God sent his child Jesus into the world not to condemn but that the world might be healed through him.
One: This is the week of darkness.
All: This is the time of trial, the day of betrayal.
One: The light was too bright; the message too challenging.
All: And this is the judgement: that the light has come into the world, and the people loved darkness more.
This do In Remembrance of Me
Communion Hymn #225 Black It Was a Sad and Solemn Night Bourbon
Hearing the Story from Luke 22:1-23
Remembering and Sharing the Meal
Everyone is invited to participate in the remembrance of this meal, whether you are a church member or not. Elements are gluten-free. Please come forward to receive bread at the first station and the cup at the second, placing the empty cup in the adjacent tray.
Musical Meditation In Remembrance of Me arr. Krug Union Church Handbell Ensemble
In remembrance of me, eat this bread. In remembrance of me, drink this wine. In remembrance of me, pray for the time when God’s own will is done.In remembrance of me, heal the sick. In remembrance of me, feed the poor. In remembrance of me, open the door and let your brother in.
Take, eat, and be comforted. Drink and remember too,That this is my body and precious blood shed for you. In remembrance of me, search for truth. In remembrance of me, always love. In remembrance of me, don’t look above, but in your heart for God. Do this in remembrance of me.
I Am Among You as One Who Serves
Hearing the Story from Luke 22:24-39
Choir Anthem Take Your Shoes Off John Stockton Union Church Choir
Betrayal In The Garden
Hearing the Story from Luke 22:40-54
Hymn #218 Ah, Holy Jesus Herzliebster Jesu
Before The Cock Crows
Hearing the Story from Luke 22:55-62
Sung Psalm 22:1-5,11-15,19-24 p. 632 Steve Bolster, cantor
The psalms were originally musical compositions. During Lent we will pray the psalms in musical form with congregational responses. Please sing the response when invited, indicated by R
Are You the King of the Jews?
Hearing the Story from Luke 22:63-23:12
Music O Sacred Head, Now Wounded Union Church Orchestra
Crucify Him, Crucify Him!
Hearing the Story from Luke 23:13-25
Stripping the Sanctuary
As Jesus was stripped of all finery before the soldiers, so we remove the finery and trappings of our sanctuary. We remove or cover all symbols of Christ’s presence and proclamation including the table, the Peace Bell, and even the pulpit where “good news” is proclaimed. These are covered to symbolize the darkness of the world and the death of Jesus.
Musical Meditation What Wondrous Love Is This? Union Church Orchestra
Let Him Save Himself!
Hearing the Story from Luke 23:26-43
Musical Meditation Shakuhachi Flute
Into Your Hands
Hearing the Story from Luke 23:44-49
Musical Meditation Were You There trad. Steve Bolster, soloist
Hearing the Story from Luke 23:50-56
The Candle of Hope Carried Forth
Leaving, Waiting, Watching
Silence and Darkness
Those who wish may remain to pray. We depart to our homes to pray for the light.Cowan Chapel will be open for meditation tomorrow from noon – 1 pm; and from 4 – 6 pm.
This week Passover begins for Jewish adherents around the world. We stand in solidarity with the faith and tradition of the Jewish Jesus, and pray for the well-being of all our neighbors of every tradition.
About Tonight’s Service
Tenebrae: On this night we commemorate the events of Jesus’ life that led to his crucifixion. We gather to tell the story of the gospel and to share communion just as the original disciples did on this night nearly 2,000 years ago. “Tenebrae” is the Latin word meaning, “shadows.” This Service of Tenebrae is an adaptation of a liturgy that dates from the fourth century. The candles represent the disciples and the Christ. The denial and desertion is represented by the gradual darkness culminating in the total darkness of death and burial. A single, sheltered candle is re-lit and taken from the sanctuary at the close of the service to prophesy of the Easter so soon to come.
Maundy Thursday: “The word “Maundy” comes from “mandatum novum,“ the Latin translation of John 13:34, “I give you a new commandment…that you love one another” Jesus spoke these words to the disciples on the evening when the First Supper was celebrated, just before he was betrayed and taken away to his trial. We commemorate this new commandment at every celebration of Communion. Tonight we remember the institution of the sacrament.
The Story According To Luke: Tonight’s reading of the “Passion” narrative is taken from the gospel according to Luke, the author of both the book of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles. This gospel was written to and for a gentile (non-Jewish) community sometime between 75 and 95 CE. For Luke, it is important to his readers understand that Jesus was condemned to death because of the actions of the religious and political authorities and not in any way because he was deserving of the crucifixion. Luke alone of all the gospel writers uses the verb “paschein,” “to suffer,” when speaking of Christ’s death. For Luke, Jesus must suffer simply because he is the messiah. God in Christ is changing the nature of honor and power; showing true glory by letting go of power and entering into the suffering of the world. The entire gospel could be summarized in the words of Bob Pierce, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God.”
Communion: Originally the meal that is described in the Gospels was served on low tables while the guests reclined on the floor or on cushions. The bread we use tonight is similar to what may have been served at the First Table, and both wine and grape juice are provided to symbolize the gift of Christ’s blood. This is Jesus’ table, not our own. All who would be fed are welcome here.
This service was made possible by many volunteers who have led the prayers and readings for our worship. We thank the choir, handbell ensemble and its Director, soloists, and our Director of Music Ministries, our computer, audio and video technicians for their hard work preparing this worship to the glory of God.
Anti-Semitism Has No Place In Christian Discipleship
Holy Week presents a challenge to Christian communities in its understanding of language. The reference to the “Jews” is especially prevalent in the Gospel of John, and has the power to fuel the impression that Jews as a people are responsible for the death of Jesus. As a faithful congregation striving to embody the life and ministry of Christ we recognize that anti-Judaism is a contradiction and an affront to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and affirm the following statement contained in a Presbyterian Study Paper “Christians and Jews: People of God.”
The relationship between Christian faith and Judaism is unique, foundational, and enduring. The New Testament bears consistent witness to this relationship the mercy of God in Jesus Christ embraces both Jew and Gentile; it does not abandon Jews in favor of Gentiles or forsake Jews in favor of the church. Supersessionism, the belief that God¹s covenant with the church has replaced God’s covenant with Israel, and that the church has supplanted the Jewish people, is contrary to the core witness of the New Testament and is not supported by the mainstream of the Reformed tradition.
Unfavorable New Testament references to “The Jews” do not refer to all Jews of the first century, and certainly not of the twenty-first. While the New Testament contains numerous references to God’s “new covenant” in Christ, these cannot be taken to mean that “new cancels” God’s previous covenants.