This evening we are blessed to be joined by Bishop Anne Hodges-Copple as we begin the three days of celebrating the Paschal Mystery. We begin tonight with the service of Maundy Thursday.
The word “Maundy” comes from the latin “mandate,” referring to Jesus’s commandment that we love one another. The Maundy Thursday service is an intimate celebration of that love, as well as a offering of thanksigiving for the gift of the Eucharist.
Tonight, we will remember Jesus’ washing of his disciples feet by offering a washing of the feet during the service. This is strictly optional: you may either participate or remain in prayer. At the appointed time, the priest will invite folks to come forward. If you wish to do so, please come forward with both shoes already removed. The priest will wash the first person’s feet simply by pouring warm water over them into a basin and then drying them with a towel. That person will then wash the next person’s feet.
At the conclusion of the Eucharist, we will also have a sacrament procession to the altar of repose. That means that after the postcommunion prayer, but before the stripping of the altar, the clergy and the acolytes process out with the sacrament to place it in reserve in the chapel.
At this time, the People of God (aka the congregation) remain seated for a few minutes of silence and prayer until the ministers return, at which point the stripping of the altar will begin. We will conclude with a reading from the Gospel of Matthew, and then depart in silence.