Maundy Thursday




What follows is a service for an Agape Meal (love feast).  If you live alone, you may choose to read the service to yourself while you eat your supper, or, if a family is gathering, you may wish to assign parts to family members, since we cannot gather as a Christian community during this time.  Whichever way you choose, hold in your heart the people you know and love that would join you in this feast if they could.


“Agape” is the New Testament Greek work for “self-giving love”. In the Christian tradition an “Agape” is also the name for informal meals and times of togetherness and mutual sharing which remind us of all those meals Jesus shared with his friends and the unity that his Spirit continues to give us.


One: How wonderful it is, how pleasant, for God’s people to live together in harmony! This is the place and this is the time: Here and now, God waits to break into our experience.

All: To change our minds, to change our hearts, to change our ways. To make us see the world and the whole of life in a new light. To fill us with hope, joy and certainty for the future. Here and now – let us praise God.


Reading:  Colossians 3: 12-17


One:  Friends in Christ, in this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to struggle against sin, death and the forces of evil—all that keeps us from loving God and each other. This is the struggle to which we were called at baptism.

Within the community of the church, God never wearies of forgiving sin and giving the peace of reconciliation. On this night let us confess our sin against God and our neighbor, and enter the celebration of the great Three Days reconciled with God and with one another.


Common confession

If you were to keep watch over sins, O Lord, who could stand?  Yet with you is forgiveness, and so we confess.  Gracious God,


All:  have mercy on us.  We confess that we have turned away from you, knowingly and unknowingly.  We have wandered from your resurrection life.  We have strayed from your love for all people.  Turn us back to you, O God.  Give us new hearts and right spirits, that we may find what is pleasing to you and dwell in your house forever. Amen.


One:  Receive good news: God turns to you in love. 

All:  We forgive. We trust that we are forgiven.

One:  Let us share the peace with each other.


Setting the table

One:  On this table, at which Christ is present, we set symbols to remind us of Christ’s promises to us:

All:  A candle, to remind us of Jesus who said, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life”.

One:  Bread, a symbol of Jesus who said, “I am the bread of life. The bread that I shall give is myself for the life of the world”.

One:  Wine (or grape juice), a symbol of blood and covenant as Jesus says: “This is the blood of the new covenant – poured out for you’ ‘I am come that you might have life – life in full abundance’

All:  A cross, to remind us that Jesus said, “A new commandment I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”.

One:  Lord, we welcome your presence with us. May the food and companionship we share nourish our bodies, hearts and minds. May our spirits be refreshed as we live in the light of your presence, with us now and at all times and places.

All:  Amen.

The Meal

As the meal is eaten, conversation may include the ways in which the presence of Christ has been witnessed and experienced during this pandemic, and to express thanks for how God’s love has been experienced personally.


Prayers of intercession

(when the meal is finished):

One:  Turning our hearts to God who is gracious and merciful, we pray for the church, the world, and all who are in need.

One:  God of love, unite your church in its commitment to humble service. Make us your faithful disciples. Speak words of truth and grace through us. Encourage us in self-giving acts of kindness. Let us love one another as you have loved us. Hear us, O God.

All:  Your mercy is great.


God of love, tend to flocks, fields, and vineyards. Bring favorable weather for crops to grow. Guide the hands of those who cultivate, farm, and garden. Let the earth flourish so that all may eat and be satisfied. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


God of love, you give us a new commandment, to have love for one another. We give thanks for organizations that respond to disasters and for agencies that offer relief and humanitarian aid to populations in need.  We pray for all medical and essential services staff who assist those with the corona virus.  We pray for their safety and for the safety of their families. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


God of love, give ear to all who call upon you for any need of body or spirit especially those who are infected with the corona virus and who are struggling with ill health, and for their family members who are unable to be with them.  Provide for those who do not have enough to eat, those who are unemployed or underemployed, and those who rely on the generosity of others. Hear us, O God.

Your mercy is great.


According to your steadfast love, O God, hear these and all our prayers as we commend them to you; through Christ our Lord.


Copyright © 2016 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #SAS011617


The Lord’s Prayer



One:  The meal is ended. Christ goes before us into the day and the week ahead.

All:  Let us go in peace to love and serve one another In the Spirit of Christ. Amen!


Source of Liturgy (with one or two small changes):
The Corrymeela Community: Corrymeela House
8 Upper Crescent, Belfast, BT7
Charity Number XN 48052A