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Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday focuses on Jesus’ last meal, which he ate with his disciples. There are many important things that happened on that night: Jesus washes his disciples’’ feet, he institutes Holy Communion, he gives his final command to “Love one another as I have loved you,” and he is betrayed and arrested. Here are some suggestions for observing Maundy Thursday in your home:

  • Pray the prayer of the day together.
  • Read the scripture readings that are assigned for the day.
  • Sing together, songs like “What Wondrous Love is This” or “Jesus Remember Me”.
  • Have a meal together with everyone sitting down at the table together. Talk about how Jesus sat down at a table to have a meal with his disciples. How is your meal the same? How is it different?
  • Jesus washes his disciples’ feet as an act of service. Do the most humble household chores for your family like cleaning the toilets, scrubbing the floors, washing the dishes, etc. What are those tasks in your home that are the lowliest, but are a service to others?

After you eat your evening meal, strip your table, similar to how we strip the altar. Leave the table empty and unused until Easter Sunday, when you can come back together for a feast. The stripping of the table is a metaphor for the stripping of Je-sus’ body before his crucifixion, and the empty table is a metaphor for the emptiness of Jesus’ betrayal and death.

Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal,
Jesus gave us a new commandment, to love one
another as he loves us. Write this commandment in our
hearts, and give us the will to serve others as he was
the servant of all, your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior
and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Exodus 12:1-4 [5-10] 11-14
The passover of the LORD

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
I will lift the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD. (Ps. 116:13)

1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes

John 13:1-17, 31b-35
The service of Christ: foot washing & meal

Good Friday

Join us online for our Good Friday Service April 10 @ 7:00 p.m.

Good Friday is best observed in a simple and somber manner. Good Friday focuses on Jesus dying on the cross. Death is a terrible thing and it silences our voices and stops our celebration. Good Friday devotion is solemn, but it is not despairing—we see in Jesus’ death the way to new life. There is a great deal to ponder on Good Friday: Why does Jesus die for us? How does his death remove our sin? How is it that in this death is the gate to eternal life? Here are some suggestions for ob-serving Good Friday in your home:

  • Pray the prayer of the day together.
  • Read the scripture readings.
  • Sing together, songs like, “Lead Me to the Cross” “Were You There” “Lord I Lift Your Name On High”
  • Fast. There are many ways to fast: you could eat nothing all day until evening, you could eat only a few small meals, or you could fast from certain foods. You could also fast from certain activities, like watching TV, using the internet, working, etc. Fasting is a way of grieving Jesus’ death. It is a way to express our longing and hunger for Jesus, and it is a way to devote more time to prayer.
  • Make a cross and put it in a prominent place in your home. You can make the cross out of sticks from your yard, scraps from your garage, or any other wood that you have. (The cross Jesus died on was not made from holy lumber or sacred trees. The Romans used whatever timbers they had around. You can do the same at home.)
  • Whenever you pass by the cross, pause, and reflect on Jesus’ death there.
  • Draw a cross on your sidewalk with sidewalk chalk (this could be a good activity with children). Write “Jesus Died for You” under the cross. This may help people who are walking by observe Good Friday.
  • The Bible says that Jesus died at 3 o’clock. At 3 o’clock have everyone stop, come together for a time of silent reflection.

Almighty God, look with loving mercy on your family, for
whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed,
to be given over to the hands of sinners, and to suffer
death on the cross; who now lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Isaiah 52:13–53:12—The suffering servant

Psalm 22
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Hebrews 10:16-25
The way to God is opened by Jesus’ death

John 18:1–19:42
The passion and death of Christ