St Paul’s Blog

Maundy Thursday 2018

Mar 27, 2018 | Services

7:00 pm Holy Communion, Stripping of the Altar (BCP)
Presider & Preacher The Reverend Keith Joyce
8:15 pm to 10:00 pm Prayer Watch
The church building and the Hall remain in darkness and in quiet, in respect of the Prayer Watch.

MAUNDY THURSDAY has a unique service in the evening, at 7:00 pm. Like The Sunday of the Passion, it has a movement from joy to solemnity as we mark Jesus’ institution of the Eucharist and the giving of the “new commandment”. The word “maundy” is an old English word from the Latin “mandatus,” or command, recalling the Lord’s giving the disciples this “new commandment”. We come with thankfulness for this great gift of God which helps to equip us to obey the new commandment, but as the service progresses, we begin to prepare for Christ’s betrayal. The altar is “stripped” as a reminder of how Jesus was stripped of all his friends and supporters after he was arrested this night so long ago. The altar now bare, and with the service ending in darkness, we go silently into our preparation for that all-important day, Good Friday. To go with Jesus on this night of his betrayal a Prayer Watch is held here in the church building. It starts immediately upon the ending of communion and continues to 10:00 pm when the doors are locked. One can stay after the service or come back any time before 10:00 pm and spend time in prayer, meditation and reflection. This helps us mark our Lord’s request of his disciples to pray with him in the hours before his arrest.