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Maundy Thursday Open Thread

Here’s where to discuss all things Maundy, whether you do it on a Thursday or some other day of the week.

{ 4 } Comments

  1. Pamela Smith | February 28, 2008 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I’m trying to convince the rest of the planning team to not use the RCL’s reading from Exodus for this liturgy. It is the violent, horrible climax to the Passover story and it sure does not fit with the mood of the MT liturgy as I understand it. I am lobbying for the millennial banquet from Isaiah as a replacement.

    I am not dissing the Exodus story; I think it is profound, liberating, and deserving our sustained attention – I’m just saying that putting this little scrap of it in on MT does not serve the story itself or the liturgy.

  2. Phil | March 2, 2008 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past few days. There seems to be a lingering ambiguity about Maundy Thursday in the current BCP version. It’s sort of like it’s not caught up with the reclaimed Easter Vigil. The theology of the vigil seems pretty clear–*this* is the night, *this* is the passover of the Lord. Not the meal in the upper room.

    I’ve been reading Gordon Lathrop’s book of liturgical theology, *Holy things*, he indicates that this Exodus reading was included in the earliest list of readings we have for the paschal vigil, along with the parting of the Red Sea, and many of the others that we have in the current BCP. It would fit in the vigil, if the vigil marks the passover. It fits there with our other stories of God’s saving power.

    But you’re right, this makes it seem odd on Maundy Thursday. It seems a strange leftover from thinking of Maundy as the passover. Which I guess many people still do. But if Maundy is not the passover, then we need a new understanding for Maundy. If it’s not the passover, what is it?

    I’m interested in your suggestion of the millennial banquet. Could you say more about the thinking behind that?

  3. Phil | March 9, 2008 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Bosco Peters has some good reflection on Maundy up on his site, Liturgy: Worship that works. I thought that this part was especially relevant to the discussion here:

    Furthermore, Passover emphases are reserved for the Great Vigil of Easter, which is the Passover Feast of Christians, and it is preferable that a Seder or agape meal not replace the Maundy Thursday liturgy. Festal meals are not appropriate during Holy Week. Such festivities take place after the Lenten fast is completed by the Great Vigil. In any case, if an agape meal is combined with the liturgy, it is important that there be a time of keeping watch, rather than having the service end in the chatter of a supper party.

  4. Pamela Smith | March 13, 2008 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The millennial banquet – thinking about that this morning, I remember again that Jesus chose to teach and embody his logos by sitting around eating together and telling stories. When we do this well, we delight in the Kingdom that is, invisibly and yet tangibly.

    This story on Telling Secrets, Elizabeth Kaeton’s blog, expresses what I’m trying to say better than I can -

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