Services whilst we are closed due to Corona virus

St Clement Church Community Service for Maundy Thursday

 

Grace mercy and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

 

Let us pray:

We have come in the name of Christ to offer our praise and thanksgiving, to hear and receive God’s holy word, to pray for the needs of the world, and to seek the forgiveness of our sins, that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may give ourselves to the service of God.

 Amen.

 

Invitation to confession.

We have a time of quiet as we recall the times we fail to meet God’s ideal for us, his people.

 

Let us pray:

Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbours as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen.

 

Absolution

May God who loved the world so much that he sent his Son to be our Saviour, forgive us our sins and make us holy to serve him in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

The Collect

God our Father, you have invited us to share in the supper which your Son gave to his Church to proclaim his death until he comes: may he nourish us by his presence, and unite us in his love; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

 

Gospel Reading

John 13.1-17,31-35

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ Jesus answered, ‘You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You will never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

 

Reflection:

Today is like no other in the Christian year, because during this evening Jesus gives a practical demonstration of all that he taught throughout his ministry by performing the actions of a lowliest servant, washing the feet of his disciples. 

We are told in great detail; ‘he got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet.’ 

He got up from the table knowing he was putting into place the events that would end his life very shortly.  He took off his outer robe, perhaps a practical action to stop it getting dirty and wet, but also to humble himself further. 

He tied a towel around his waist and poured water into the basin, such deliberate, careful actions.  You can almost see it, the disciples looking on in stunned silence. 

On the night before he died, Jesus described his injunction to love, as a new commandment, the ‘mandatum novum’ from which ‘Maundy Thursday’ gets its name.  So what did he mean?  What is new?

The answer, I think, is that Jesus is asking us to shift our ideas of love.  In Leviticus we are told to love our neighbours as ourselves, today’s gospel is; ‘to love one another as I have loved you.’

Before the last supper we were invited to measure our love for others by the standard of our own love.  Now, we are being invited to measure our love for others by the standards of Jesus. 

Our love for our neighbour is therefore, now to be compared with what Jesus has done for us.  And that is new.  Maundy Thursday is, in other words, the day when love is redefined, by the actions of Jesus washing the disciple’s feet.

We learn from Jesus that the nature of divine love has no limits.  There is nothing which it will not undertake for the beloved, nothing it will not suffer.

Such love has no place for nice calculations about what is fair, or appropriate, or reasonable.  It is rather the constant effort to do good.  It’s a love of service, and not a love that desires reward.

Such love, like that described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13, isn’t blown off course by emotions.  Let’s face it, there were many occasions, such as those described in Mark’s gospel when Jesus was angry, or grieved, or indignant at the behaviour of those around him.  And yet he continued to act for their good, even at the cost of his life.

Loving like Jesus means serving others, performing acts of service however we are able, even for those we think might not deserve it, and for little or no reward. 

The Covid19 pandemic has brought out the best in people, sadly as always because of our fallen humanity, a few instances of the worst in people too.   But perhaps has never been a better example of folk serving each other. 

The Covid19 virus is a great leveller, people are pulling equally together to find ways to combat it.  But whilst all that is going on, people are also working together to deal with what the virus brings.

Doctors, nurses, in fact all health care professionals, are literally giving their lives to care for, to serve, the afflicted.

Volunteers are striving to serve the isolated in their communities, to supply every day and essential needs.

Let’s not forget the acts of service like our bins still being emptied, our post still being delivered, our supermarkets and shops still being open, and their stock delivered.  Such service that enables our well-being and food on our tables.

For us, loving like Jesus means using this time of physical distancing from each other to minister to each other in whatever way we can, be it by the wonders of modern technology,  an email, or a simple phone call, to those we know to be isolated and perhaps lonely and afraid.

For some of us, that call to duty might mean making difficult decisions or ministering in ways new to us. 

But before we grumble, we would do well to remember that tonight Jesus washes the feet of Judas Iscariot with as much tenderness as he washes the feet of Peter.

Amen.

 

 

Affirmation of Faith

We say together what we believe about our faith. 

We declare our faith in God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We believe in God the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. We believe in God the Son, who lives in our hearts through faith, and fills us with his love. We believe in God the Holy Spirit, who strengthens us with power from on high. We believe in one God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

 

Intercessions

In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father through Christ the Saviour of the world.

 

Father, on the night he was betrayed, your Son Jesus Christ washed his disciples’ feet.  We commit ourselves to follow his example of love and service.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

As Christ prayed for his disciples to be one, and for those who were to believe through his disciples’ message, we pray for the unity and mission of your Church.   

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

As Christ commanded his disciples to love, but suffered rejection himself, we pray for the rejected and unloved, for those persecuted for their faith, for the ill and those who care for them.  We especially remember all who are affected by the Covid 19 virus and our changing world.

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

 

As Christ looked forward to the new wine of your kingdom, we pray for all who have passed through death, may you welcome them into paradise, and rest eternal grant unto them O Lord, light perpetual shining upon them.

Amen.

 

 

The Lord’s Prayer

Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus how to pray, and he taught them this prayer, and so we join together saying the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

The Peace

Jesus says; ‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, or afraid.’

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be always with us, those whom we love and remain with us always. Amen.

 

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ be with us, wherever He may send us.

May He guide us through the wilderness, protect us through the storm.

And may He bring us home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown us.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen


Page last updated: 7th April 2020 12:35 PM