a community creating for the relentless return of Sunday

Thursday and Friday

Okay, now that the Easter bulletin is done (hahaha!), it’s time to turn our attention to Thursday and Friday. Do you have services on Thursday and Friday, one or the other, or none? Daytime and/or evening? A meal together? Communion? Footwashing? Stripping the sanctuary?

What kind of mood are you looking to set? What kind of theme are you following, if any (for example: this year’s Maundy Thursday theme here is “extravagant love poured out”)? How do you plan to explore these stories at the center of our faith?

These services are often a time when we can be a little bit out-of-the-box, so let’s create together!

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  1. I sketched these services out yesterday. The biggest challenge was overcoming the temptation just to use what I did last year!!

    For Maundy Thursday, we have a potluck dinner usually followed by worship around tables. For this year’s service, I actually brought back a brief meditation/sermon. The whole service is incredibly simple – I have yet to write or pull most of the liturgy, but I anticipate that it will be pretty simple and relaxed. I’m centering everything around the twin “mandates” of the day in the John and Corinthians texts. Musically, we’re singing “An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare” because it is easy to sing and fits the day and “Great God, Your Love Has Called Us Here” (to RYBURN as found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship).

    For Good Friday, that temptation to use last year as a model was much stronger. I did switch around the hymns and pull the special music (which might get added back, we’ll see…), but last year’s service that blended texts from Iona and the Book of Common Worship really worked well. Again, it’s a simple service, with the extended John reading and a good bit of silence – and this time no sermon.

    Thankfully, though, neither service is locked-down, so good liturgy ideas are appreciated!!! 🙂

  2. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are my favorite days of the Christian calendar. I don’t do a sermon with either one (maybe that’s why I like them so much!).

    For Thursday night, I’m doing a service with stations around the room (in the fellowship hall), including hand and foot washing, communion, prayer station, anointing with oil, and sampling bitter herbs. I love this service. We did it last year for the first time in this set up, and it worked really well, so I’m just tweaking the liturgy here and there.

    For Friday, I’m focusing on Peter’s experience (as I did on Palm Sunday, and will pull into Easter if I can figure out how), and so I wrote some monologues– except I’m going to have three people read alternating lines, because Peter speaks for all of us. Inter-cut with that, I have some liturgy around writing down our burdens/sins and later nailing them to a wooden cross, crushing last week’s brittle palms, and my favorite part– I give everyone a rock and when we read the part about Jesus’ death, we all drop them at the same time, which makes a noise like a thunderclap/earthquake. I’ve done that only once before and it was pretty chilling. We also have several periods of silence in the service. Between the crushed palms, the nails, the stones, and the silence (oh, and a capella singing), I’m trying to create a kind of sound-based sensory experience, whereas Thursday’s is based in touch and taste.

    But I’ve got nothing for Easter. No pressure, right?

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