01 Apr Maundy Thursday – 4/1/21
McPherson First Church of the Brethren
Holy Week – Maundy Thursday | Thursday, April 1, 2021
A Feast of Love, celebrating; Hand-washing, a Shared meal, Communion, Litany and Song
Centering Music | “What Wondrous Love is This” | arr. Craig Curry
Ellen Gilbert, piano
Call to Worship
Gathering Hymn | “Here in this Place” | #6 HWB
Dawn Hoffman, vocal; Dan Hoffman, guitar
Washing Hands | John 13:4, 12-17
“On this night before Jesus was crucified, He laid aside his outer garments and taking the position of the
servant of all he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel
that was wrapped around him. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to
his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and
‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also
should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very
truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent
him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”
Hand Washing Hymn | “Jesus Took a Towel” | #449 HWB
Francis Hendricks, Dan Lichty, Lynne Frantz Lichty, Renata Lichty Prose & Lara Lichty Schoming, vocals;
Jean Lichty Hendricks, piano
Sharing a Meal | Mark 14:12-17
“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.”
Sharing the Meal Hymn | “Morning Star, O Cheering Sight!” | #214 HWB
Dan Lichty, Ada Prose, & Ari Prose, vocals; Jean Hendricks, piano
Sharing the Meal
The First Cup of Remembrance
During the meal – we drink from the cup of remembrance – recalling both promise and hope. We give thanks for
the fulfillment of promise and hope through the deliverance of our Hebrew ancestors. We give thanks for the
promise and hope in our own lives.
Bitter Herbs/Salt Water & Nuts
On the table are some Bitter Herbs, a dish of Salt Water & some Nuts. The herbs are dipped in the salt water
before they are eaten. A handful of nuts are eaten. We eat bitter herbs tonight to remind ourselves of the bitter
times our Hebrew forefathers and mothers had in Egypt, and to remind us of the bitterness of millions in our
world today who are still in bondage. We also dip the greens in salt water before we eat them, so that we will
remember that everything that grows is the salt of the earth – a gift of God. When we remember and honor this
fruitful earth we are also acknowledging the miracle of creation. And we eat nuts to remind us that in this world,
it is a tough job to break through the hardened hearts of our own and others, to taste the sweetness that is
We eat only unleavened bread tonight because when our Hebrew ancestors left Egypt they were in so great a
hurry that there was no time to prepare ordinary bread – no time to let bread rise. We also eat bread because
among people everywhere, sharing of bread forms a bond of fellowship. We eat this bread thinking of all who
are still in bondage – the wrongly imprisoned, the severely underpaid workers, the sex-trade workers, any who
are in bondage to that which does not give them life.
The hard-boiled egg is dipped in salt water and then eaten. Not only does salt represent the building blocks of
life – given by God – but salt also represents the tears that have been shed in the trials and tribulations of
God’s people. The egg is a symbol of new life, a component of which is death. That life and death cycle
reminds us of the construction and destruction of The Temple and the Life and Death and New Life of Jesus.
These olives are part of this meal because they represent sorrow. Every year Palestinian olive trees are
intentionally chopped down, burned, and uprooted by Israelis – some of the children of Abraham with Sarah.
These trees are the source of livelihood for many Palestinian families – the children of Abraham with Hagar.
Tonight, these olives are a sign of our identification with both the Israelis and Palestinians who are working to
find solutions – doing everything in their power to work for peace – to make enemies into friends – despite the
voices of hate and provocation on both sides.
The Second Cup of Remembrance – Ten Drops of Wine
We take a second drink from the Cup of Remembrance
We imagine in this swallow – ten drops of wine. Each drop is a hope and a prayer.
We hope and pray that;
1. people will cast out the plagues that threaten everyone, everywhere they are found, beginning in our own hearts;
2. people will cease the making of war;
3. humans will stop the teaching of hate and violence;
4. we will cease despoiling of the earth, perverting justice and government;
5. we will we stop inciting and fueling corruption and crime;
6. people will cease the neglect of basic human needs;
7. humans will stop oppression of nations and peoples;
8. we will cease the corruption of culture;
9. this cessation of the corruption of culture will mean we no longer subjugate science, learning and
10. this cessation of the corruption of culture will mean we no longer erode the freedoms that empower
all people to bring to fruition their full divinity – bringing forth the person God intends them to be.
Litany of Thanksgiving
One: As we gather in community – to serve one another – to break bread with one another – to share
the bread and cup; we remember we are human – created with a spark of the Divine.
We are one with everything, living and nonliving, on this planet.
Connected. Interrelated. Interdependent.
All: The earth and all that is in it gives witness to the spirit of life.
One: We celebrate our oneness with the plants and the animals, which precede and surround us.
The touch of grasses swaying in the open prairie.
The smell of wet earth after snow and rain.
The surprise of geese in flight.
The taste of corn and apples and sand hill plum jelly.
Galaxies and suns and stars and planets, continue to shape our existence.
All: How can we not stand in wonder and awe?
One: Thus we join in the canticle of the cosmos, saying:
All: Holy! Holy! Holy! Heaven and earth are holy and good.
One: In this season of transition as the leaves begin to bud and our hearts lighten at the thought of
warmth – as the days lengthen, we once again are reminded, that new possibilities can rise from
our failures or disappointments or what has come to an end.
We give thanks for all the influences in our lives that have helped us to see beyond the present:
that teach us to combine labor and rest,
that bring us the cycles of time and season,
that sustain us when we are in need.
All: For the arrival of sunny Spring days,
One: for daffodil and tulip bulbs to feed our senses of sight and smell
All: for garden fresh new lettuce and green onions;
One: We give thanks.
All: For trees that flower,
One: For hyacinths and blossoming forsythia
All: for soccer practice and softball games
One: We give thanks.
All: For chirping Robins and gentle rain
One: for cleaning out garages and throwing open windows again
All: We give thanks for all these glorious things.
One: Especially we give thanks for Jesus – gatherer of people, teller of stories,
breaker of bread, pourer of wine, weaver of lives.
In his life, divinity, wisdom, stories and social vision we recall the words he spoke to call us forth in love,
care and respect for one another:
All: And we believe the same Spirit of God that came to visibility in Jesus yearns for
visible expression in us.
Sharing the Bread and Cup | Mark 14: 22b-25
“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.”
One: So now we take some of this bread and some of this cup.
All: Together we re-imagine the world.
One: Together we work to make all things new.
All: Together we celebrate the possibilities and hope we each have and are called to share.
Communion – Partaking of the Bread and Cup
One: We break bread as an act of solidarity. We pour the cup as an act of sharing.
All: For everyone born, a place at the table.
Some of you have communion cup/wafers that your Caregivers delivered to you.
Some of you are using your own bread and cup.
During the Hymn – you are invited to break bread and drink the cup.
Communion Hymn | “Eat This Bread” | #471
Dawn Hoffman, vocal; Ellen Gilbert, piano
Sending Music | “Sacred Head/Go to Dark Gethsemane” | arr. Dan Masterson
Bryan Hess, violin; Dan Masterson, piano