Maundy Thursday: Choral Eucharist & Stripping of the Altars
After the triumphant scenes of Palm Sunday as Jesus entered Jerusalem, the atmosphere of Holy Week changes as we share something of the quiet companionship of Maundy Thursday at our evening Choral Eucharist at 6pm on Thursday 14th April sung by St Bride’s Choir.
Maundy Thursday gets its name from the Latin word mandare meaning to command. We remember Jesus’ command: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
This moving service is full of symbolism and sets the scene for the events to come on Good Friday.
The night before his crucifixion, Jesus shared a final meal with his friends, before his betrayal and his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” – Luke 22:19-20
At the end of our service the Sacrament is processed to the Altar of Repose. The Sanctuary is then stripped of all adornment whilst Psalm 22 is read aloud by the congregation.
This ancient Maundy Thursday custom symbolises the humiliation of Jesus at the hands of the soldiers as he was stripped for crucifixion: “They part my garments among them : and cast lots upon my vesture.”
The congregation leaves the bare church in silence.
Setting: Mass for four voices – William Byrd
Sermon: The Revd Canon Dr Alison Joyce, Rector of St Bride’s
Anthem: Ubi caritas – Colin Mawby
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