Thursday evening March 24

Holy Thursday

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Opening response

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.
Let your ways be known upon earth
your saving power among the nations.

Prayer of thanksgiving

Blessed are you, Lord God of our salvation,
to you be glory and praise forever.
As we behold your Son, enthroned on the cross,
stir up in us the fire of your love,
that we may be cleansed from all our sins,
and walk with you in newness of life
singing the praise of him who died
for us and our salvation.
Blessed be God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God forever.


Jesus, At Whose Supreme Command

Charles Wesley
Jesus, at whose supreme command,
We now approach to God,
Before us in thy vesture stand,
Thy vesture dipped in blood.

Obedient to thy gracious word,
We break the hallowed bread,
Commemorate thee, our dying Lord,
And trust on thee to feed.

Now Savior, now thyself reveal,
And make thy nature known,
Affix thy blessed Spirit’s seal,
And stamp us for thine own.

The tokens of thy dying love
O let us all receive,
And feel the quickening Spirit move,
And sensibly believe.

The cup of blessing, blest by thee,
Let it thy blood impart;
The bread thy mystic body be,
To cheer each languid heart.

The living bread sent down from heaven,
In us vouchsafe to be,
Thy flesh for all the world is given,
And all may live by thee.

Confession of sin

Come, Holy Spirit of God,
and search our hearts with the light of Christ.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 
and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, 
with all your being, with all your mind, 
and with all your strength.’

The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.
All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commandments.

Amen. Lord, have mercy.

After a period of reflection

Come, let us return to the Lord and say:

Lord our God,
in our sin we have avoided your call.
Our love for you is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that goes away early.
Have mercy on us;
deliver us from judgment;
bind up our wounds and revive us;
in Jesus Christ our Lord.

cf Hosea 6

May almighty God,
who sent his Son into the world to save sinners,
bring us his pardon and peace, now and forever.

The Word of God

Psalm 39

Lord, my hope is set on you.

I promised I would watch my steps
    so as not to sin with my tongue;
    promised to keep my mouth shut
    as long as the wicked were in my presence.
So I was completely quiet, silent.
    I kept my peace, but it did no good.
    My pain got worse.
My heart got hot inside me;
    while stewing over it, the fire burned.
Then I spoke out with my tongue:
    “Let me know my end, Lord.
    How many days do I have left?
    I want to know how brief my time is.”
You’ve made my days so short;
    my lifetime is like nothing in your eyes.
        Yes, a human life is nothing but a puff of air! 

Yes, people wander around like shadows;
    yes, they hustle and bustle, but pointlessly;
        they don’t even know who will get the wealth they’ve amassed.
So now, Lord, what should I be waiting for?
        My hope is set on you.
Deliver me from all my sins;
    don’t make me some foolish person’s joke.
I am completely silent; I won’t open my mouth
    because you have acted.
Get this plague of yours off me!
    I’m being destroyed by the blows from your fist.
You discipline people for their sin, punishing them;
    like a moth, you ruin what they treasure.
        Yes, a human life is just a puff of air! 

Hear my prayer, Lord!
    Listen closely to my cry for help!
Please don’t ignore my tears!
    I’m just a foreigner—
        an immigrant staying with you,
        just like all my ancestors were.
Look away from me
    so I can be happy again
    before I pass away and am gone.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Lord, my hope is set on you.

Psalm prayer

O Christ, Son of the living God,
help us when we are too cast down to pray,
and grant that we may trust you all our days,
for you are with us in our living and our dying,
Jesus, Lord and God.

Old Testament reading
Exodus 11

The Lord said to Moses, “I’ll bring one more disaster on Pharaoh and on Egypt. After that, he’ll let you go from here. In fact, when he lets you go, he’ll eagerly chase you out of here. Tell every man to ask his neighbor and every woman to ask her neighbor for all their silver and gold jewelry.” The Lord made sure that the Egyptians were kind to the Hebrew people. In addition, Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people even came to honor Moses as a great and important man in the land.

Moses said, “This is what the Lord says: At midnight I’ll go throughout Egypt. Every oldest child in the land of Egypt will die, from the oldest child of Pharaoh who sits on his throne to the oldest child of the servant woman by the millstones, and all the first offspring of the animals. Then a terrible cry of agony will echo through the whole land of Egypt unlike any heard before or that ever will be again. But as for the Israelites, not even a dog will growl at them, at the people, or at their animals. By this, you will know that the Lord makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. Then all your officials will come down to me, bow to me, and say, ‘Get out, you and all your followers!’ After that I’ll leave.” Then Moses, furious, left Pharaoh.

The Lord said to Moses, “Pharaoh won’t listen to you so that I can perform even more amazing acts in the land of Egypt.” Now Moses and Aaron did all these amazing acts in front of Pharaoh, but the Lord made Pharaoh stubborn so that he didn’t let the Israelites go from his land.

Silence may be kept.

New Testament reading
Ephesians 2:11-18

So remember that once you were Gentiles by physical descent, who were called “uncircumcised” by Jews who are physically circumcised. At that time you were without Christ. You were aliens rather than citizens of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of God’s promise. In this world you had no hope and no God. But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. He canceled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace. He reconciled them both as one body to God by the cross, which ended the hostility to God.

When he came, he announced the good news of peace to you who were far away from God and to those who were near. We both have access to the Father through Christ by the one Spirit.

Silence may be kept.

Gospel canticle
The Magnificat (The Song of Mary)

Christ humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am I rejoice in God my savior.
He has looked with favor on the low status of his servant.
Look! From now on, everyone will consider me highly favored
because the mighty one has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
He shows mercy to everyone,
from one generation to the next,
who honors him as God.
He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations.
He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones
and lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has come to the aid of his servant Israel,
remembering his mercy, 
just as he promised to our ancestors, 
to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.

Luke 1:46-55

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.

Christ humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Brief silence

The Apostle’s Creed

Let us unite in this historic confession of the Christian faith:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.


Thanksgiving and intercession

Thanksgiving may be made for the day.
Intercessions are offered
for peace
for individuals and their needs


Lord, in your mercy
hear our prayer.

Silence may be kept.

Collect of the day

Almighty and everlasting God,
who in your tender love toward the human race
      sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ
to take upon him our flesh
and to suffer death upon the cross:
grant that we may follow the example of his patience and humility,
and also be made partakers of his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.      

The Lord’s Prayer

Standing at the foot of the cross,
as our Savior taught us, so we pray

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and forever.


May Christ, who bore our sins on the cross,
set us free to serve him with joy.