Maundy Thursday

Jesus washing feet by Ghislaine Howard, courtesy of Methodist Modern Art Collection of Christian Art

Jesus washing feet by Ghislaine Howard, courtesy of Methodist Modern Art Collection of Christian Art

The Lord's Supper

The Lord’s Supper

Many have asked the question: Why is this day in Holy Week called Maundy Thursday?

We are not one-hundred percent certain of its origins, however it has been around for some time. There are at least three possibilities.
First, many believe that it comes from the Latin word mandatum, which means “command.” On this day, according to John 13:34-35, Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment to love one another.
Second, others believe that Maundy is derived from another Latin word mundo, which means “wash.” On this day, again according to John 13:1-17, Jesus washes his disciples feet as an act of humble service and commands his disciples to do likewise.
Third, the word Maundy is associated with the word maund, which means “basket.” Some Christians practiced—and may still do so—distributing baskets of food to the poor on Maundy Thursday. Minted coins called “maund money” were—are?—also given to the poor.
Of course, one of the other traditions associated with Maundy Thursday is the institution of the Lord’s Supper, the account of which all three synoptic gospels provide(Matthew 26:17-30; Mark 14:12-26; Luke 22:7-39), as well as does the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
Prayer of the Day/Collect for Maundy Thursday
Most Holy God of all creation: On this day your Son washed his disciples feet as an act of humble service, and instituted the Lord’s Supper as a remembrance of what he accomplished on the cross, and to draw all people into union and communion through his holy presence. As we remember the events of that first Maundy Thursday and celebrate your holy presence among us, may our hearts be filled with gratitude, and in response to your boundless love for us, follow your example of humble service and unconditional love. In the name of Jesus our Messiah.

Sermon Palm Sunday Yr B

Read my sermon for March 29, 2015 here: Palm Sunday Yr B

A Prayer for Monday in Holy Week

A Prayer for Monday in Holy Week

In Luke 22:3-4, we read: “Then Satan entered into Judas, who was called Iscariot, one of the Twelve; and he went to the chief priests and temple guards to discuss ways of betraying Jesus to them.” (REB) Jesus, Suffering Servant, if one of the Twelve who was with you during your public ministry could betray you, then what chance have I, or anyone for that matter, of not doing the same? Do I, like Judas, not betray you when I fail to see you in my neighbour—especially the least of these brothers and sisters in need—and fail to welcome and love them as if they were you? Do I, like Judas, betray you whenever I cave in to the status quo and political correctness for selfish gains? Do I not betray you every day whenever the old nature, the old Adam and Eve in direct my thoughts, words and deeds? Have mercy upon me sinner that I am, forgive me for all the betrayals I’ve committed against you. Have mercy upon us all, and forgive us all. Keep us close to you and deliver us from evil. May we be ever grateful for the events of your Passion and your unconditional forgiveness, even when we betray you. For your love’s sake, we pray.

To live is to die-thoughts for Holy Week

To live is to die—thoughts for Holy Week


Am I then concerned to say that there is no possibility of deliverance from this world of fantasy that we have created? Is the endlessly repeated message of the media—that money and sex are the only pursuits in life, violence its only excitement, and success its only fulfilment—irresistible? Are the only available escape-routes all cul-de-sacs? There is a remarkable passage in Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago in which the hero reflects that in a Communist society freedom only exists in concentration camps—in other words, that the only way to be free is to be imprisoned. The same notion is to be found at the very heart of the Christian religion—that the only way to live is to die.


The Way begins where for Christ himself its mortal part ended—at the cross. There alone, with all our earthly defences down and our earthly pretensions relinquished, we can confront the true circumstances of our being; there alone grasp the triviality of these seemingly so majestic achievements of ours, like going to the moon, unravelling our genes, fitting one another with each other’s hearts, livers and kidneys. There, contemplating God in the likeness of (us humans), we may understand how foolish and inept (we are) when (we see ourselves) in the likeness of God. (Quotation from: Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered, pp. 115-116).