Saturday, April 13, 2013

Maundy Thursday

The Table. (Credit Amy Clifford for photo)
I spent Holy Week with my church community in Denver.  Maundy Thursday is one of my favorite worship services in the liturgical year.  We start the evening individual absolution to all the sins we confessed on Ash Wednesday.  Then while singing, "Take Oh Take Me As I Am" we washed one another's feet and assembled bleach kits for IV drug users.  We do this every year to acknowledge that God meets us right where we are, not where society or anyone else thinks we should be.

Then we moved into feasting on a spread of breads, juices and wines as we offered communion to one another.  My table even had gluten free Irish Soda Bread for me!  We smothered bread with wildflower honey and red pepper hummus and marmalade and raspberry jam. We do this to remember the last meal that Jesus enjoyed with his disciples.  Then, just as in the story of Maundy Thursday, the tone abruptly changes.  I read John 13:21-30 aloud in which Jesus foretells his own betrayal.  We each deposited 30 "pieces of silver" into a large bowl in silence, the only sound being the incessant sound of betrayal, as Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for the same amount.

Then the altar and the worship space was stripped as the cantor chanted Psalm 88.  The assembly left in silence.  There is no benediction, because the Triduum does not end until the Great Vigil of Easter is celebrated.

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