Maundy Thursday - Reflection

Bookmark and Share

The Last Supper


Link to Mendelssohn Songs without Words, No 19. In A Flat Major, played by Daniel Barenboim (from YouTube, opens in a new tab)


The Greeting and the Gospel Part 1

A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another, as I have loved you.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all,
and also with you.

The story of Thursday night in Holy Week

Matthew 26.17-57

Part 1: the Passover v17-30

Empty Communion Table

17On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’


18He replied, ‘Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, “The Teacher says: my appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.”’ 19So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.21And while they were eating, he said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.’
22They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?’
23Jesus replied, ‘The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.’
25Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?’
Jesus answered, ‘You have said so.’
26While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’
27Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. 28This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29

I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’ 30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


Mount of Olives

30When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.


Another Mendelssohn Song without Words. No 33 in B Flat Major, played by Walter Geiseking (from YouTube, opens in a new tab)


Matthew 26 v 31-46


31Then Jesus told them, ‘This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ‘“I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.”   32But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.’ 

33Peter replied, ‘Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.’ 
34‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus answered, ‘this very night, before the cock crows, you will disown me three times.’ 
35But Peter declared, ‘Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the other disciples said the same.

36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’

39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’  40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?’ he asked Peter. 41‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ 
42He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.’  43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’

Arrest Matthew 26 v 47-57

47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.’ 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed him. 
50Jesus replied, ‘Do what you came for, friend.’ 
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.  52‘Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’ 
55In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.’ Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. 
57Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled.

The road to Caiphas' House

Drop Drop Slow Tears – St John’s Choir sing the Anthem from their homes

The Lord’s Prayer & Prayers

As our Saviour taught us, so we pray:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours
now and for ever. Amen.

Jesus, Lamb of God, 
you take away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us. 
Jesus, Lamb of God, 
you take away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.
Jesus, Lamb of God, 
you take away the sins of the world:
Grant us peace

Psalm 22

The church is stripped of furnishings & ornaments. during which Psalm 22 is said

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, ♦
and are so far from my salvation, from the words of my distress?
2 O my God, I cry in the daytime,♦
and by night also, but I find no rest.
3 Yet you are the Holy One, ♦
enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
4 Our forebears trusted in you; ♦
they trusted, and you delivered them.
5 They cried out to you and were delivered; ♦
they put their trust in you and were not confounded.
6 But as for me, I am a worm and no man, ♦
scorned by all and despised by the people.
7 All who see me laugh me to scorn; ♦
they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
8 ‘He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him; ♦
let him deliver him, if he delights in him.’
9 But it is you that took me out of the womb ♦
and laid me safe upon my mother’s breast.
10 On you was I cast ever since I was born; ♦
you are my God even from my mother’s womb.
11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near at hand ♦
and there is none to help.
12 Mighty oxen come around me; ♦
fat bulls of Bashan close me in on every side.
13 They gape upon me with their mouths, ♦
as it were a ramping and a roaring lion.
14 I am poured out like water;
all my bones are out of joint; ♦
my heart has become like wax melting in the depths of my body.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd;
my tongue cleaves to my gums; ♦
you have laid me in the dust of death.
16 For the hounds are all about me; ;the pack of evildoers close in on me; ♦
they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones; ♦
they stand staring and looking upon me.
18 They divide my garments among them; ♦
they cast lots for my clothing.
19 Be not far from me, O Lord; ♦
you are my strength; hasten to help me.
20 Deliver my soul from the sword, ♦
my poor life from the power of the dog.
21 Save me from the lion’s mouth, from the horns of wild oxen. ♦
You have answered me!
22 I will tell of your name to my people; ♦
in the midst of the congregation will I praise you.
23 Praise the Lord, you that fear him; ♦
O seed of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, O seed of Israel.
24 For he has not despised nor abhorred the suffering of the poor;
neither has he hidden his face from them; ♦
but when they cried to him he heard them.
25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; ♦
I will perform my vows in the presence of those that fear you.
26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; ♦
those who seek the Lord shall praise him; their hearts shall live for ever.
27All the ends of the earth
shall remember and turn to the Lord, ♦
and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.
28 For the kingdom is the Lord’s ♦
and he rules over the nations.
29 How can those who sleep in the earth bow down in worship, ♦
or those who go down to the dust kneel before him?
30He has saved my life for himself;
my descendants shall serve him; ♦
this shall be told of the Lord for generations to come.
31They shall come and make known his salvation,  to a people yet unborn, ♦
declaring that he, the Lord, has done it.

We thank you dear Lord, with all our hearts. 

Copyright Details

“Drop, Drop, Slow Tears” by Orlando Gibbons arr David Blackwell © Oxford University Press 2002, recorded by the St John’s Church Choir between 1 and 5 April 2020, streamed under our OneLicense A-633160.