pause worship dinner church // Wed., March 31 @ 8pm

Before Worship:

Tonight’s worship will look a little different, as we’ll share a meal with one another to celebrate Maundy Thursday in community. Before hopping on Zoom:

  • Find a candle that you can light.
  • Make sure you have access to a bowl of water/sink
  • Gather as you would for dinner at a table, with dinner, or feast-worthy snacks to eat during worship! Bring bread or juice/wine, or whatever you have that closely resembles these for communion.
  • For those that can’t join us on Wednesday night, feel free to use the meal liturgy portion with friends or family on Maundy Thursday.

Welcome to Worship

Prelude Bread & Wine by Josh Garrels

Gathering Litany

There are varieties of gifts,
but there is one Spirit.
There are varieties of services,
but the same Lord.
There are varieties of activities,
but the same God.
Engineers and English majors,
questioning and certain,
queer and straight;
God arranged the members of the body;
God chose each one of us.
God loves each one of us.
Conservative and liberal,
city kid and country kid,
introvert and extrovert;
All are a part of the Body.
Just as it is one and has many members,
so it is with Christ.
In one Spirit we were all baptized into one body,
and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
We gather now;
to worship in word and song
to question and pray
to belong and to become
to join in God’s work of reconciliation
and renewal of all creation. Amen

Words of Institution 


In one of the most intimate moments of Jesus’ ministry, just after he has shared his last meal with his disciples, and just before he will remind his disciples how well he knows them, Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. In this binding act of service and love, Jesus shows us the complexity, beauty, and humility of life, faith, and friendship. And so we begin our meal tonight by washing. In this washing, we remember our call into this love. We also remember our baptism, which sets us free from perfection and performance to love our neighbors and ourselves. May we be instruments of love. Amen.

If you’re gathered with a group of people already, you may want to simply continue your worship together with them. If you’d like to gather with a room of LCM’ers, we will break you into Zoom Rooms of 5-6 folks for you to share in this meal liturgy together. There will be parts of the service marked One, and you can switch off who reads these parts if you like, or have one designated reader. Everyone around the table can join in for the words marked All. 

Break Into Zoom Rooms

Take your candle, light it, and place it on your table. Decide who you will honor tonight in the lighting of the candle (you might look at the list below for ideas), and share that with the group by saying the following:

All (each person says this individually): As Jesus traveled he spread light wherever he went, light that could not be extinguished. Tonight I light my candle in honor of…

  • the women who attended him
  • his mother Mary
  • the disciples
  • the crowds who followed him
  • the lepers he healed
  • the possessed he freed
  • those who are hungry
  • those without homes
  • those who are sick
  • George Floyd, and others killed by police violence
  • the woman who anointed him with oil
  • others you see Jesus’ light in today…

When all have lit their candle and taken their places at the table, continue with the opening.


One: Friends, tonight is a holy night. Tonight, we join with Christians around the world as we remember the last night our Lord spent with his friends. We gather around a table and with all those who remember tonight. Though we are dispersed, we are together, in spirit and in truth. Tonight is about friendship and love. But not all the stories tonight are happy because suffering and evil are real. So tonight we will eat a meal, we will share stories, and we will pray together.

Blessing of the Meal

The one who blesses the bread takes the bread and holds it where all may see it. All may grab their bread items and hold them up. 

One: On the night that Jesus gathered with his friends he took bread and he blessed it and shared it with his friends, for God who loves us, feeds us. As God’s people ate manna in the wilderness and were satisfied, so we share this bread with Christ, and with one another. May it be for us bread from heaven, strength for our bodies, balm for our souls, and may it empower us to be Christ’s body in this world.

The one who blesses the wine/juice/other beverage then takes the drink (in a bottle or cup) and holds it where all may see it. All may grab their wine/juice/other beverage and hold it up.

One: On the night that Jesus gathered with his friends he took wine and he blessed it and shared it with them. For the God who made us delights in us, and gives us good gifts to delight our tongues, and give joy to our souls. As Jesus offered the Samaritan woman water that will not fail, so Jesus offers us the same. May this drink be for us the holy drink of heaven, and may it wash us of sin and quench the thirst of our souls.

Everyone together then blesses the rest of the meal, saying:

All: Holy and lifegiving God, we thank you for the bounty of your Creation laid before us. We ask you to bless it, that it may be to us a holy meal. We give thanks for all those who labored so that it might sustain us, and we ask that through it, you would give us the strength to be your good stewards; to care, and tend your creation, and to care especially for our siblings, all the people of this world. Tonight, be with all the members of our community who we love and miss, those who cannot be here with us to share this meal. We ask these things by the grace of Jesus Christ our Brother and the Holy Spirit our friend and guide. Amen.


All may begin enjoying their meal or snacks. Your room can begin reading the following stories from this night aloud and feel free to spread them throughout the meal, in between your group’s conversation and discussion. As you listen to the texts, what words and phrases stood out to you? What was challenging, or surprising, or new? What did you hear in this text that is a call from the Holy Spirit, to you and your life, to our community, or to our world? 

First Story – John 13:1-17, 31b-35 – The Last Supper

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.”

For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are
clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

“Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


As you listen to the text, what words and phrases stood out to you? What was challenging, or surprising, or new? What did you hear in this text that is a call from the Holy Spirit, to you and your life, to our community, or to our world? 

Second Story – John 18:1-11 – The Betrayal & Arrest of Jesus

After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “For whom are you looking?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he”, they stepped back and fell to the ground. Again he asked them, “For whom are you looking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”


As you listen to the text, what words and phrases stood out to you? What was challenging, or surprising, or new? What did you hear in this text that is a call from the Holy Spirit, to you and your life, to our community, or to our world? 

When folks are done eating, you can continue with the service.


One: Our dinner is over, the waiting begins. Tonight Jesus was alone, under arrest,
and awaiting his death. Tonight his friends were alone with their guilt,
shame, and fear.

One: Tonight many are alone, isolated, and afraid. Jesus waits with us all, even as we wait with him. Jesus knows what loneliness feels like, what fear tastes like, what abandonment and betrayal feel like. Jesus knows the heartbreak of grief and loss. Tonight we hold vigil, with those among us and with those we don’t know. We hold vigil with all are sick, fearful, lonely, and with those who feel abandoned or betrayed.

One: We are now invited to clear away the dishes, and clean up the remains of our meal in silence, and with prayer. Tonight these tables were our altar, and these homes our sanctuary. Let us cleanse them of all that has come before this moment: of our anxiety, our worry, our sorrow, and our shame.

The table may then be cleared by all present, as each is able. Each person extinguishes their candle. If you had any table cloth or decoration on your table, you’re invited to remove it, just as on Maundy Thursday, we strip the altar. The table can then be wiped down with a clean damp cloth, and dried. After you gather again, read Psalm 51 responsively, the unbold read by One and the bold read by All

Third Story – Psalm 51 

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your
in your great compassion blot out my offenses.
2 Wash me through and through from my wickedness 
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you only have I sinned 
and done what is evil in your sight.
5 And so you are justified when you speak
and upright in your judgment.
6 Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, 
a sinner from my mother’s womb.
7 For behold, you look for truth deep within me,
and will make me understand wisdom secretly
8 Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; 
wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.
9 Make me hear of joy and gladness,
that the body you have broken may rejoice.
10 Hide your face from my sins 
and blot out all my iniquities.
11 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
12 Cast me not away from your presence 
and take not your holy Spirit from me.
13 Give me the joy of your saving help again
and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.
14 I shall teach your ways to the wicked, 
and sinners shall return to you.
15 Deliver me from death, O God,
and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness,
O God of my salvation.
16 Open my lips, O Lord, 
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
17 Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice,
but you take no delight in burnt-offerings.
18 The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; 
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
19 Be favorable and gracious to Zion,
and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
20 Then you will be pleased with the appointed sacrifices,
with burnt-offerings and oblations; 
then shall they offer young bullocks upon your altar.


Closing Prayer

All: Holy One, draw near to your people this night, wait and watch with us. Send your holy angels to watch over the sick, and to guide the hands of those who tend to them. And we beseech you, comfort us as a Mother soothes her beloved children. May we watch, and wait, strengthened by your presence. Amen.

If desired you are all invited to place flowers, potted plants, your LCM blessing bowl, other beloved objects, and a candle or other lights, somewhere in your home. A place to watch with Jesus (and a reminder of the Garden of Gethsemane) can be made with these things and those who feel so called can spend an hour there at some point in the night reading scripture, praying, or simply keeping silent vigil.

Then on Friday, we invite you to participate in Good Friday with those nearest to you. We’ve put together a Good Friday Prayer Walk for you to use, which is a mixture of prayer, reflection, readings, and song. We hope you join us this Holy Week, on this journey to the cross and the empty tomb, as you are able. 

*Service adapted from Barefoot Theology’s Maundy Thursday service