Maundy Thursday March 29, 2018
Service of Corporate Confession and Absolution
Facing the altar, the pastor stands at the foot of the chancel and says:
P In the name of the Father and of the X Son and of the Holy Spirit.
P I will go to the altar of God.
C To God, my exceeding joy.
P Our help is in the name of the Lord.
C Who made heaven and earth.
Then the following confessional address is read.
P During this Lenten season we have heard our Lord’s call to intensify our struggle against sin, death, and the devil—all that prevents us from trusting in God and loving each other. Since it is our intention to receive the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ on this night when He instituted this blessed meal for our salvation, it is proper that we complete our Lenten discipline by diligently examining ourselves, as St. Paul urges us to do. This holy Sacrament has been instituted for the special comfort of those who are troubled because of their sins, humbly confess them, and hunger and thirst for righteousness.
But when we examine our hearts and consciences, we find nothing in us but sin and death, from which we are incapable of delivering ourselves. Therefore our Lord Jesus Christ has had mercy on us. For our benefit He became man so that He might fulfill for us the whole will and law of God and, to deliver us, took upon Himself our sinful nature and the punishment we deserve.
So that we may more confidently believe this and be strengthened in the faith and in holy living, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, broke it, and gave it to His disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is given for you.” It is as if He said, “I became man, and all that I do and suffer is for your good. As a pledge of this, I give you My body to eat.”
In the same way also, He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the New Testament in My blood which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Again, it is as if He said, “I have had mercy on you by taking upon Myself all your iniquities. I give Myself into death, shedding My blood to obtain grace and forgiveness of sins, and to comfort and establish the new testament, which gives forgiveness and everlasting salvation. As a pledge of this, I give you My blood to drink.”
Therefore, whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup, confidently believing this Word and promise of Christ, dwells in Christ and Christ in him and has eternal life.
We should also do this in remembrance of Him, showing His death—that He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification. Giving Him our most heartfelt thanks, we take up our cross and follow Him and, according to His commandment, love one another as He has loved us. As our Lord on this night exemplified this love by washing His disciples’ feet, so we by our words and actions serve one another in love. For we are all one bread and one body, even as we are all partakers of this one bread and drink from the one cup. For just as the one cup is filled with wine of many grapes and one the bread is made from countless grains, so also we, being many, are one body in Christ.
Because of Him, we love one another, not only in word, but in deed and in truth.
May the almighty and merciful God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, accomplish this in us.
P Having heard the Word of God, let us confess our sins, imploring God our Father for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.
C O almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor miserable sinner, confess unto You all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended You and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray You of Your boundless mercy, and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor sinful being.
P God be merciful to you and strengthen your faith.
P Do you believe that the forgiveness I speak is not my forgiveness but God’s?
P Let it be done for you as you believe.
The pastor absolves the penitents individually at the altar, laying his hand on the head of each and pronouncing the following absolution, or he may absolve all the penitents corporately from the altar.
P In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the X Son and of the Holy Spirit.
After all have returned to their seats, the pastor speaks this blessing.
P Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Go in X peace. (1 Thessalonians 5:23–24)
Following the pronouncement of forgiveness and peace, the people may greet one another in the name of the Lord by saying, “Peace be with you.” The pastor concludes the exchange of peace with the salutation and collect of the day:
P The Lord be with you.
C And also with you.
P O Lord, in this wondrous Sacrament You have left us a remembrance of Your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of Your redemption may continually be manifest in us; who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
OLD TESTAMENT READING – Exodus 24: 3 - 11
P This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
EPISTLE – 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
P This is the Word of the Lord.
C Thanks be to God.
P The Holy Gospel according to St. Mark, the 14th chapter. (12-26)
C Glory to You, O Lord.
After the Reading
P This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C Praise to You, O Christ.
HYMN OF THE DAY –617
Prayer of the Church and LORD’S PRAYER
THE WORDS OF THE LORD AGNUS DEI – page 198
Stripping of the Altar
Immediately following the post-communion collect, the communion vessels are reverently removed from the altar, the altar is stripped, and the chancel is cleared in preparation for the solemn services of Good Friday.
While this is done, psalm 22 is chanted.
At the conclusion of the Stripping of the Altar, all leave the church in silence