Wednesday, April 08, 2009

[Note: i have the honor of preaching the Maundy Thursday service at Centenary Church in Granville tomorrow, 7:30 pm with, of course, communion!]

Maundy Thursday 9 April 2009 CUMC

Opening Call to Worship
(adapted from Psalm 116)

Leader: We love the Lord, because our voice and our pleas are heard.
People: Because our prayers have a listener, we will call on the Lord as long as we live.

L: In distress and anguish, we felt death and darkness overwhelm us;
P: Then we called out: “O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

L: Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful.
P: The Lord preserves the simple; when we were brought low, God saved us.

L: What shall we render to the Lord, with all the blessings we have received?
P: We will lift up the cup of salvation, and call on the name of the Lord!

L: Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
P: O Lord, we are your servants; you have loosed our bonds.

Unison: We will offer our sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call on the name of the Lord.
We will pay our vows to the Lord in the presence of all God’s people, in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord! Amen.

* * *

Unison prayer of confession and redemption

Lord of every banquet and buffet, God of creation and cafeterias, we call on you this evening. You tend to the fields and the harvest, the grinding and the cooking, and your hand rests gently on all who clean up after. Almighty God, we barely understand how bread rises, or how sunlight fills the grapes with sweet life. Our hands are far from the effort of reaping and kneading; our feet do not stomp in the vineyard, or tread out a path around the olive press. Here, O Lord, we would break bread we have not baked, pour out fruit from vines we did not pick. Help us, God, to take from this holy meal a greater awareness of how we depend on one another, and how such true community can only be born in love and forgiveness. And lift our hearts, Father of farmers and loving Lord of all who cook, to celebrate the Son who called Martha from the kitchen, who surprised Mary in the garden, and who offered, even to Judas, the choice to come to his table, and eat of his freely offered salvation. For it is in Christ’s name that we pray, Amen.

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