*On this day our Lord went again to Jerusalem. In the evening in the Upper Room, he washed the feet of the disciples, and instituted the blessed sacrament of his Body and Blood. He spoke the words of comfort and peace, gave the promise of the Holy Spirit and made the great intercession. In the Garden of Gethsemane he endured his agony. Betrayed by Judas and arrested by his enemies, he was taken to prison and to judgement.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
(*Church of Scotland Prayers for the Christian Year 1935)
As we gather on this holy night
As we follow Jesus and his disciples to the upper room
where they shared the Passover meal,
As we take our place at the table, hanging on Jesus' every word,
and celebrate the feast in memory of him,
then follow him to the garden
where he was betrayed and arrested,
may we see ourselves in all the antics of the disciples
Some who stay in the background
Some who step up to defend Jesus
Some who are betrayers
Some who would deny him
Some who get scared and run away
But all who nonetheless are welcomed by Jesus
who knows us and loves us.
And in sharing this sacrament here
may we know God's love and forgiveness
reaching out to us
and drawing us close.
This night and always
The Preparation of the Passover Matthew 26:1-5,14-16
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.”
Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
Hymn - Ride on, ride on
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
We gather round this table tonight, much like the disciples did, with Jesus in our midst. Jesus calls us friends and invites us to share in his body broken for us and his blood poured out for us in love.
We do this to remember him.
Lord, here is bread and wine
And here are your disciples
gathered around your table
As we partake of this food
that you make holy
may we do so
that we are capable
of betraying you
just as Judas did.
Send your Spirit upon these your gifts
and as we share in communion
with you and each other
and with all the saints
crowding around this sanctuary
jostling for a place
may we know your healing
and your forgiveness
in every part of our lives.
May your selfless giving
teach us how to give and forgive
for the healing of the nations.
We do this to remember you.
Hymn - Twas on that night
The body of Christ broken for us.
The blood of Christ poured out in love.
Sharing of Communion
Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
Hymn - Praise to the holiest
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; with him was a large crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him.” At once he came up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you are here to do.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and arrested him. Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.
Hymn - We turn to God
We know it's not over
But for now we go and wait
on the authorities
doing their worst
Offloading the responsibility
As they achieve
their inevitable outcomes
All the while knowing
We would have done the same...
Stripping of the Sanctuary