Agape for Maundy Thursday

The following blessings may be said over the food in the evening meal on Maundy Thursday in private homes:

Over Wine

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You create the fruit of the vine; and on this night you have refreshed us with the cup of salvation in the Blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Glory to you for ever and ever. Amen.

Over Bread

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You bring forth bread from the earth; and on this night you have given us the bread of life in the Body of your Son Jesus Christ. As grain scattered upon the earth is gathered into one loaf, so gather your Church in every place into the kingdom of your Son. To you be glory and power for ever and ever.  Amen.

Over the Other Foods

Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe. You have blessed the earth to bring forth food to satisfy our hunger. Let this food strengthen us in the fast that is before us, that following our Savior in the way of the cross, we may come to the joy of his resurrection. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Sending love and prayers for a safe and contemplative Maundy Thursday

Sleeping for Sorrow

Tomorrow night is Maundy Thursday, the night Jesus prayed fiercely in the darkness of the garden of Gethsemane: “Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” As Jesus prayed to be released from his fate on that cross, we are told the disciples were “sleeping for sorrow.”  Waking them Jesus says: “Could you not even watch with me for one hour?” And so we come on this night, to watch and pray with him for one hour.

   I hope you can make time in your busy lives for the very special services of Holy Week. Only when we’ve been to that dark garden of Gethsemane can we really appreciate the Resurrection garden that greets us Easter Sunday!   

    

   In Christ, Mother Candace+ 

Another Faithful Woman

The origins of Holy Week (which begins this Sunday with Palm Sunday) are traced back to Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem in the 4th century. Pilgrims pouring into Jerusalem to be baptized Easter morning, followed Cyril around to the various sites significant to the events of Jesus’ last days on earth: the “Upper Room” where he had his last meal; the “Via Dolorosa,” where he struggled to carry his cross; and the hill at Golgatha where they crucified him.    Fortunately for us, these 4th century walking “liturgies” were recorded by one of those early pilgrims, a Gallic woman named Egeria. Eventually these early liturgies became our Prayer Book liturgies of “Maundy Thursday,” “Good Friday,” and “Easter.”

Egeria wrote an account of her Holy Week experience in Jerusalem in a long letter to her Christian women friends back home in Europe, who had never heard of these traditions. It is thought her letter might be the very first formal writing by a woman in the history of the world. 

God bless Egeria, and all the pilgrims who walked with Cyril through Holy Week, marking it in time and recording it. Because of their faithfulness, we are able to follow Jesus’ last earthly journey to this day. If you have never walked this sacred walk I hope you will make time in your busy lives next week for the very special services of Holy Week!   

   Faithfully, Mother Candace+ 

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