Before beginning this service, gather a piece of bread or bread-like food and a cup of juice or other liquid that you have available.
To prepare ourselves:
The Upper Room (Don Besig and Nancy Price)
Let us pray:
Though you are God,
with all the influence and status that the name implies,
you refused to pull rank,
and parade your power among us.
Instead, you chose to step down into our experience,
living among us, as one of us,
with all the struggle and suffering
that goes with being human.
More than that, you adopted the role of slave,
washing feet, serving people of no reputation or social standing,
and giving of yourself completely.
As incredible as it sounds,
you are the God who serves,
and we can respond in no other way
than to give ourselves to you in praise.
My Tribute (To God Be the Glory) (Andrae Crouch)
How can I say thanks
for all the things You have done for me?
Things so undeserved,
yet You gave to prove Your love for me;
the voices of a million angels
could not express my gratitude.
All that I am and ever hope to be,
I owe it all to Thee.
To God be the glory,
to God be the glory,
to God be the glory
for the things He has done.
With His blood He has saved me,
with His power He has raised me;
to God be the glory
for the things He has done.
Just let me live my life,
and let it be pleasing, Lord, to Thee,
and should I gain any praise,
let it go to Calvary.
(found on https://www.allthelyrics.com/lyrics/andrae_crouch/my_tribute-lyrics-1174627.html)
The first Passover:
Exodus 12:1-14 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the Lord. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.
Go Down, Moses (African-American spiritual)
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
1 I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. 2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
12 What shall I return to the Lord for all his bounty to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, 14 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. 15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones. 16 O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the child of your serving girl. You have loosed my bonds. 17 I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice and call on the name of the Lord. 18 I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare (Fred Pratt Green)
An upper room did our Lord prepare
for those he loved until the end:
and his disciples still gather there
to celebrate their risen friend.
A lasting gift Jesus gave his own:
to share his bread, his loving cup.
Whatever burdens may bow us down,
he by his cross shall lift us up.
And after supper he washed their feet,
for service, too, is sacrament.
In Christ our joy shall be made complete:
sent out to serve, as he was sent.
No end there is! We depart in peace,
he loves beyond the uttermost:
in every room in our Father's house
Christ will be there, as Lord and Host.
(found on https://www.hopepublishing.com/find-hymns-hw/hw2964.aspx)
At the Last Supper, Jesus washes the feet of the disciples:
John 13:1-17, 31-35 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
13 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. 2 The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4 got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 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.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 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? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 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.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus (Samuel Trevor Francis)
Let us pray:
Gracious God, As those who strive to follow Jesus in our living and to trust your power in our dying, we gather to reflect upon the life that ended on a cross.
We recognize in ourselves the strengths and weaknesses of Jesus’ disciples: although they loved him, they disappointed and failed him.
And yet, gathering with these imperfect friends at this last meal Jesus washed their feet in service, and then extended the bread and cup to each. Jesus called them to love one another, and invited them to share in his very life and in his acceptance of the road ahead.
We are humbled, honored and inspired by the deep love Christ extended to the world, and we take seriously the calling to be the body of Christ today.
Forgive us when we disappoint and fail you, and guide us back to a place of trust and faithful living.
Grant us the vision to see the world as you see it, with love and compassion for each creature and all of your creation. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who taught us to pray to you. . .
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Sharing Jesus’ Last Meal
Broken for Me (Janet Lunt)
Broken for me
Broken for you
The body of Jesus
Broken for you
He offered His body
He poured out His soul
Jesus was broken
That we might be whole
Come to my table
And with me dine
Eat of my bread
And drink of my wine
This is my body
Given for you
Eat it remembering
I died for you
This is my blood
I shed for you
For your forgiveness
Making you new
(found on https://digitalsongsandhymns.com/songs/8631)
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
23 For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The Last Meal:
When the time was right, God sent Jesus to be among us.
Born into this life, seeing God’s grace revealed in all things, he laughed with those who laughed, and mourned with those who mourned.
In love, he healed the sick, he welcomed the outcast, he challenged those in power, and the structures that kept them there.
And he called us back to God’s love.
In the power of the Holy Spirit, the Christ laughs and cries, heals and welcomes, challenges and loves, again and again and again.
On the night before he was taken to be tortured to death on a cross, Jesus sat with his disciples, and ate the Passover meal, a meal of remembrance, with them.
Jesus took a loaf of bread, asked God’s blessing upon it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying: (lift and break your bread)
“Take this – all of you – and eat it. This is my body, given for you. Each time you eat it, remember me.”
Close to the meal’s end, he took a cup filled with wine, asked God’s blessing upon it, and gave it to his disciples saying: (lift your “wine”)
“Take this – all of you – and drink it. This is my promise in my life’s blood - poured out for you and for the world.”
“Each time you drink it, remember me.”
And so, in remembrance of these your mighty acts in Jesus Christ, we offer ourselves in praise and thanksgiving as a holy and living sacrifice, in union with Christ’s offering for us, as we proclaim the mystery of faith:
Christ has died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again.
Holy God, pour out your Holy Spirit on each of us as we separately gather in your name, and on these gifts of bread and the vine. Make them be for us the body and blood of Christ, that we may be for the world the body of Christ, redeemed by his blood.
By your Spirit, make us one with Christ and one with each other, as we minister to those all around us, until Christ comes in final victory and we feast at his heavenly banquet. Through your Son, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit and all your holy church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever. Amen.
You may partake of your bread and “wine,” giving thanks to God: the body of Christ broken for you; the blood of Christ shed for you. Amen.
Inspire our hearts, O God,
to follow where Christ walked,
for Christ has marked us as his own.
Let us all take new willingness to carry our cross
and be led through sacrifice and suffering,
but also to the glory and triumph
of the Risen Life of the Savior.
Grant us all your good graces,
through Christ our Lord
Alleluia (Jerry Sinclair)
Prayers by (in order): John van de Laar, sacredise.com website; Rev. Kelly Burd, https://www.ucc.org/worship_worship-ways; from At the Foot of the Cross, http://catholicsensibility.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/at-the-foot-of-the-cross/
Words of “Sharing Jesus’ Last Meal” from Richard Bott, http://www.bibleclaret.org/liturgy/CycleA/june05/26_hugh.htm and “A Service of Word and Table II,” The United Methodist Hymnal 1989, p. 14
Picture of the Last Supper found on Pinterest