Idea for Maundy Thursday

The ordo for Maundy Thursday is traditionally all mixed up…we start with the sermon.

Here’s an idea for the reading of the texts (in parts) for Maundy Thursday which incorporates them into the foot washing and Eucharist

*Opening Song
*Confession and Absolution
*Prayer of the Day
*Gospel acclamation

The Holy Gospel according to St John
Glory to you O Lord

NARRATOR: 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. 2The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, 4got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5Then 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. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,

PETER: “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7

NARRATOR: Jesus answered,

JESUS: “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

NARRATOR:Peter said to him,

PETER: “You will never wash my feet.”

NARRATOR: Jesus answered,

JESUS: “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”

NARRATOR: Simon Peter said to him,

PETER: “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

NARRATOR:Jesus said to him,

JESUS: “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.”

(move now into the foot washing. When everyone has finished, continue with the Gospel)

NARRATOR: After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them,

JESUS: “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.”

NARRATOR: The Gospel of the Lord
All: Praise to you O Christ.


NARRATOR: A reading from Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth: 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, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,

PASTOR: “This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”

NARRATOR: In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying,

PASTOR: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

NARRATOR: For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
Holy Wisdom, Holy Words

All: Thanks be to God

*Lord’s Prayer
*Prayer after communion
*Stripping of the altar


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About Nadia Bolz Weber

I am the founding Pastor at House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. We are an urban liturgical community with a progressive yet deeply rooted theological imagination. Learn more at

  • D.E. Bishop

    I like it. I like reading Scrip as a dialog. I’ve tried omitting the narrative interjections, “Jesus said,” etc., but sometimes people get confused about who is speaking. It it’s short enough, as it seems to be the way you have divided it, it can work. I think that brings more of the flavor of the interaction out.

    Either way, I like your plan.

  • Ben Read

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have been looking for something different to do for Maundy Thursday. I am in my 9th year of being the Pastor to this congregation and I was beginning to run out of fresh ideas. This has sparked some new ideas. Thanks again.

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