For church leaders and elder boards everywhere, the last few months have presented a near-constant array of complex challenges related to shepherding a church during the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest complex challenge is perhaps the trickiest yet: how to prudently resume in-person gatherings.
Holy Thursday, also known as Maundy Thursday, falls on the Thursday before Easter. Maundy Thursday might lie a bit outside your usual Easter traditions. Easter Sunday, Good Friday, and even Ash Wednesday services are more common than Maundy Thursday services. Nevertheless, Maundy Thursday, along with other Holy Week celebrations, is an ancient tradition, practiced by Jesus’ church all the way back to the fifth century.
Maundy Thursday it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples and the events of his passion which followed. Often, foot washing is included (John 13:3-17) and, in some churches, at the conclusion of the Service, the stripping of the church may occur in which all textiles, crosses, and images are removed or covered until Easter eve. With the setting of the sun on Holy Thursday, the Easter Triduum begins. Triduum literally means “Three Days” and stretches from sunset on Holy Thursday, through Good Friday, and to sunset on Easter.
The Christian Church continues to celebrate today to prepare us for meeting the resurrected Christ on the third day.
We usually do this by celebrating the passover together each year and breaking our Lenten fast.
By observing the Lord’s Supper together, we identify with the disciples who sat at the table with Jesus and realize together that we, like his disciples, abandoned Jesus to his death. We do this not to beat ourselves up but to recall the depth of our need for God’s mercy and the height of hope on Easter Sunday.
Jesus Washes The Feet Of His Friends, John 13:1-17
Get a bowl of water or something big enough to wash their feet with. After the reading the passage, wash each person’s feet. Remind them that those who trust in Jesus to forgive them of their sins will be washed clean and prepared to do works for God.
Holy Tuesday is the last Tuesday prior to Easter Sunday; it is the third day of Holy Week after Palm Sunday and Holy Monday. Similar to Holy Monday, those that do observe Holy Tuesday, typically mark it with readings of particular passages of Scripture and the singing of relevant hymns. [Read more…]
This Lent has been like no other.
On Ash Wednesday, we began with a plan for prayer and fasting, but less than three weeks into Lent, life turned upside down because of COVID-19 and the precautions we were asked to take in order to prevent its spread. As life’s normal rhythms were interrupted, so were our Lenten plans. And we entered a Lenten desert we did not expect to experience. [Read more…]
Now is the perfect time to commit to reading through the Bible in a year. Here are five reasons why you should consider dedicating 365 days to this pursuit. [Read more…]
The season of Lent is an invitation to meet Jesus in our suffering. It drives us toward the love of God and reminds us that Jesus shares in our sufferings and we get to share in His—all for the purpose of becoming more like Him.
Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan; come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
— A Lenten Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer