St. John's & Zion Lutheran Churches

Maundy Thursday Service


Opening Hymn: “Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior” (CW 313)

(All) Jesus Christ, our blessed Savior,
Turned away God’s wrath forever;
By his bitter grief and woe
He saved us from the evil foe.

(Pastor) As his pledge of love undying,
He, this precious food supplying,
Gives his body with the bread
And with the wine the blood he shed.

(Men) Jesus here himself is sharing;
Take heed how you are preparing,
For if you do not believe,
Judgment instead you shall receive.

(Women) Useless would be Jesus’ passion
If salvation you could fashion.
Do not come if you suppose
You need not him who died and rose.

(Pastor) Christ says, “Come, all you that labor,
And receive my grace and favor;
Those who feel no pain or ill
Need no physician’s help or skill.”

(All) Then hold fast with faith unshaken
That this food is to be taken
By the souls who are distressed,
By hearts that long for peace and rest.

(All) Praise the Father, who from heaven
Unto us such food has given
And, to mend what we have done,
Gave into death his only Son.

(All) If your heart this truth professes
And your mouth your sin confesses,
Surely you will be his guest
And at his banquet ever blest.

Sermon Text: John 13:1-5,12-17

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, 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.

M: In this Lenten season, we have heard again how our Lord walked the path of suffering which led him to the cross for our salvation. We have also heard our Lord’s call to intensify our struggle against sin, death, and the devil – all which keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were committed at Baptism; God’s forgiveness and the power of his Spirit to amend our lives continue with us because of his love for us in Jesus, our Savior.
Within the family of the church, God never wearies of giving peace and new life. In the absolution we receive forgiveness as from God himself. This absolution we should not doubt, but firmly believe that thereby our sins are forgiven before God in heaven, for it comes to us in the name and by the command of our Lord.
We who receive God’s love in Jesus Christ are called to love one another, to be servants to each other, as Jesus became our servant.
In Holy Communion, the members of Christ’s body participate most intimately in his love. Remembering our Lord’s last supper with his disciples, we eat the bread and drink the cup of this meal. Together we receive the Lord’s gift of his body and blood for forgiveness and participate in that new covenant that makes us one with him and one another. The Lord’s Supper is the promise of the great banquet we will share with all the faithful when our Lord returns, the joyous culmination of our reconciliation with God and each other.



Confession and Absolution

M: Dear friends, let us approach God with a true heart and confess our sins, asking him, in the name of our Lord Jesus to forgive us.
C: Lord of life, I confess that I am by nature dead in sin. For faithless worrying and selfish pride, for the sins of habit and the sins of choice, for the evil I have done and the good I failed to do, you should cast me away from your presence forever. O Lord, I am sorry for my sins. Forgive me for Jesus’ sake.

M: Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ will come again. In his great mercy, God made us alive in Christ, even when we were dead in our sins. Hear the word of Christ through his called servant:
I forgive you all of your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
C: Amen.

Prayer of the Day

M: Lord Jesus Christ, in the sacrament of Holy Communion you give us your true body and blood as a remembrance of your suffering and death on a cross. Grant us so firmly to believe your words and promise that we may always partake of this sacrament to our eternal good; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: Amen.

First Lesson: Exodus 12:1-14

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire — with the head, legs and internal organs. Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the LORD’s Passover.
“On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
“This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD — a lasting ordinance.

Psalm 116 (Page 107 CW)

Refrain: I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

I love the LORD, for he heard my voice; * he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me, * I will call on him as long as I live.
The LORD is gracious and righteous; * when I was in great need, he saved me.

Refrain: I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling.

How can I repay the LORD for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son * and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, * is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Refrain: I will walk in the presence of the Lord, in the land of the living.

Second Lesson: 1 Corinthians 10:16,17

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

Verse of the Day: Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. (1 Corinthians 11:26)

The Gospel Lesson: Mark 14:12-26

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. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me — one who is eating with me.”
They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?”
“It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. The 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.”
While they were eating, 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.”
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Hymn: “Twas On That Dark, That Doleful Night” (CW 136)

‘Twas on that dark, that doleful night
When pow’rs of earth and hell arose
Against the Son, our God’s delight,
And friends betrayed him to his foes.

Before the mournful scene began,
He took the bread and blessed and broke.
What love through all his actions ran!
What wondrous words of grace he spoke!

“This is my body, slain for sin;
Receive and eat the living food.”
Then took the cup and blessed the wine:
“‘Tis the new cov’nant in my blood.’

“Do this,” he said, “till time shall end,
In mem’ry of your dying friend;
Meet at my table and record
The love of your departed Lord.”

Jesus, your feast we celebrate;
We show your death; we sing your name
Till you return and we shall eat
The marriage supper of the Lamb.

Responsive Prayer

M: Lord God, heavenly Father, author of the everlasting covenant and giver of the cup of salvation,
C: We gather in your courts to offer you our sacrifice of thanksgiving.

M: For fulfilling your promise to establish a new covenant through the blood of your Son, Jesus Christ,
C: We give you humble and hearty thanks.

M: As our Lord Jesus Christ gave thanks to you when he broke the bread, as he gave thanks to you when he took the cup,
C: We also give you thanks.

M: Precious Savior, both Priest and offering, awe and wonder fill our hearts as we partake of your body, broken for us, and your blood, shed for us.
C: We praise you, bless you, and adore you, Lord Jesus Christ.

M: In our poverty of righteousness, we have nothing to offer. Without your tremendous sacrifice, we would still be in our sins,
C: But through your sacrament of the New Testament, we are assured that our iniquities are forgiven and our sins are no longer remembered.

M: O Holy Spirit, dwell within us as we remember our Lord’s death in this sacrament. Enter our hearts to strengthen our faith and fill us with gratitude for your great mercy.
C: Move us to encourage one another to love and to do good works.

M: As our Lord served his disciples by washing their feet, so may we also humbly serve one another.
C: Help us live our lives as sacrifices of thanksgiving to him who first loved us. Amen.

C: 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 and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord’s Supper from Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

M: First: What is the sacrament of Holy Communion?
C: It is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ under the bread and wine, instituted by Christ for us Christians to eat and to drink.

M: Where is this written?
C: The holy Evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke, and the Apostle Paul tell us: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, 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, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

M: Second: What blessing do we receive through this eating and drinking?
C: That is shown us by these words, “Given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Through these words we receive forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation in this sacrament. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation.

M: Third: How can eating and drinking do such great things?
C: It is certainly not the eating and drinking that does such things, but the words, “Given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.” These words are the main thing in this sacrament, along with the eating and drinking. And whoever believes these words has what they plainly say, the forgiveness of sins.

M: Fourth: Who, then, is properly prepared to receive this sacrament?
C: Fasting and other outward preparations may serve a good purpose, but he is properly prepared who believes these words, “Given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins.” But whoever does not believe these words or doubts them is not prepared, because the words “for you” require nothing but hearts that believe.

Choir: Communion Meditation

The table is spread, the meal is now prepared,
the Lord bids us come to join him there.
We know we are not worthy, but still he will forgive
for He died that all of us might live.
Come break the bread, come take the cup.
Receive the promise of God’s great love.

Savior, like a shepherd lead us
as your blessing now we share.
With your blood and body feed us,
keep us in your tender care.

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
with your kindness we are filled.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus,
You have loved us, love us still.

Now we are fed, our hearts are joined as one.
The work of the Lord must now be done.
As we go forth to serve Him,
He guides us with his truth;
and our faith is strengthened and renewed.

We share the bread, we share the cup,
we share the promise of God’s great love.
We share the bread, we share the cup,
we share the promise of God’s great love.


P: The Lord be with you.
C: (sung) And also with you.

P: Lift up your hearts.
C: (sung) We lift them up unto the Lord.

P: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
C: (sung) It is good and right so to do.

P: It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give you thanks, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who brought the gift of salvation to all people by his death on the tree of the cross, so that the devil, who overcame us by a tree would in turn by a tree be overcome. Therefore, with all the saints on earth and hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name and join their glorious song:
C: (sung) Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of heavenly hosts: Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he, blessed is he, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna, hosanna, hosanna in the highest.

The Words of Institution

P: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, 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, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

C: (sung) O Christ, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. O Christ, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. O Christ, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world, grant us your peace. Amen.




Hymn: “The Death Of Jesus Christ, Our Lord” (CW 135)

The death of Jesus Christ, our Lord,
We celebrate with one accord;
It is our comfort in distress,
Our heart’s sweet joy and happiness.

He blotted out with his own blood
The judgment that against us stood;
He full atonement for us made,
And all our debt he fully paid.

That this forever true shall be
He gives a solemn guarantee;
In this his holy supper here
We taste his love, so sweet, so near.

His word proclaims and we believe
That in this supper we receive
His very body, as he said,
His very blood for sinners shed.

A precious food is this indeed –
It never fails us in our need –
A heav’nly manna for our soul
Until we safely reach our goal.

Oh, blest is each believing guest
Who in this promise finds his rest,
For Jesus will in love abide
With those who do in him confide.


The guest that comes with true intent
To turn to God and to repent,
To live for Christ, to die to sin,
Will thus a holy life begin.

They who his word do not believe
This food unworthily receive,
Salvation here will never find –
May we this warning keep in mind!

Help us sincerely to believe
That we may worthily receive
Your supper and in you find rest.
Amen! They who believe are blest.

Reception of Holy Communion

C: (sung) Lord, now you let your servant depart in peace according to your word. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.

P: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
C: (sung) And his mercy endures forever.

P: We give thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us with this holy supper. We pray that through it you will strengthen our faith in you and increase our love for one another. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
C: (sung) Amen.


The Blessing

M: The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord look on you with favor and give you peace.
C: (sung) Amen. Amen. Amen.

Closing Hymn: “Sent Forth By God’s Blessing” (CW 318)

Sent forth by God’s blessing, Our true faith confessing,
The people of God from his dwelling take leave.
The supper is ended; Oh, be now extended
The fruits of this service in all who believe.
The seed of his teaching, Receptive souls reaching,
Shall blossom in action for God and for all.
His grace did invite us; His love shall unite us
To work for God’s kingdom and answer his call.

With praise and thanksgiving, To God ever living,
The tasks of our ev’ryday life we will face.
Our faith ever sharing, In love ever caring,
Embracing his children of each tribe and race.
With your feast you feed us;
With your light now lead us;
Unite us as one in this life that we share.
Then may all the living With praise and thanksgiving
Give honor to Christ and his name that we bear.