Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
Today is Maundy Thursday
What Happened This Day?
From Bethany, Jesus sent two disciples ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. That evening Jesus shared the Passover feast with his disciples, saying:
“I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
He then took bread and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
In John’s Gospel the final meal is not the Passover and Jesus does not institute Holy Communion. Instead Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and gave them 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.”
Later, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane, where Jesus asked them to keep watch, while he went off alone and prayed. Here Jesus was betrayed by Judas and arrested. He was taken to Caiaphas the high priest, and the whole council gathered to begin making their case against him.
Meanwhile, in the early morning hours, as Jesus’ trial was getting underway, before the cock crowed, Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.
Thursday’s events are recorded in Matthew 26:17–75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, and John 13:1-38, 18:1-27.
The term ‘Maundy Thursday’ is derived from the Latin mandatum (mandate), the first word of the phrase ‘Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos’ (A new commandment I give you: That you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another).
Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.BCP for Maundy Thursday
Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseen,Thomas Aquinas, 1274
who thy glory hiddest ‘neath these shadows mean;
low, to thee surrendered, my whole heart is bowed,
tranced as it beholds thee, shrined within the cloud.
Taste and touch and vision to discern thee fail;
faith, that comes by hearing, pierces through the veil.
I believe whate’re the Son of God hath told;
what the Truth hath spoken, that for truth I hold.
O memorial wondrous of the Lord’s own death;
living Bread that givest all thy creatures breath,
grant my spirit ever by thy life may live,
to my taste thy sweetness never failing give.
Jesus, whom now hidden, I by faith behold,
what my soul doth long for, that thy word foretold:
face to face thy splendor, I at last shall see,
in the glorious vision, blessed Lord, of thee.
Thomas Aquinas was the most distinguished theologian among the Dominicans. His Summa Theologia was the most complete work of systematic theology the Church had ever known. It teaches the importance of petition (asking God for gifts and virtues), which, Aquinas taught, should be short and frequent. Aquinas was also devoted to the sacrament of the Eucharist, and compiled a complete liturgy for the feast of Corpus Christi in honor of the sacramental Body of Christ.
“Way of the Cross” for Saint Stephen’s Congregation – Click on the following link to view the “Way of the Cross” presentation
Way Of the Cross
From Our Prayers of the People
Today, let’s pray:
For the peace and unity of the Church of God; for all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the truth.
For all affected by the coronavirus around the world. For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.
For scientists and researchers around the world as they combat the virus, that their work may yield knowledge to develop a vaccine, treatments, and improved measures to reduce its spread.
For our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady
For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane, Bruce & Pauline.
For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.
Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.
For those in need of healing: Mark, the Guiles family, Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, and Joe.
For all the blessings of this life.
For Jerry P– today is his birthday!
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Meath & Kildare (Ireland), West Ankole (Uganda) & West Buganda (Uganda)
For all who have died: especially Robert, Charles, Julia, Adele, Glenn and Clark.
For one another.
Something to share
Foot-WashingJacobus Revius, 1658
Why wonder that he doffed his garments willingly,
Who had unclothed himself of heavenly majesty?
Why wonder that he tied a towel around his waist,
Who, for our sakes, as Master, assumed a servant’s place?
Why wonder that he washed the feet of humble men,
Who later with his blood would wash away their sin?
News and Updates
Parish Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning of Holy Week join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact me for the link)
Worship for Maundy Thursday
Click on this post to view the National Cathedral live stream, Children’s Bible story and Fr. James’ Homily for Maundy Thursday.
If you did not receive a phone call in the next few days from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.
If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can.
Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.
Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.
Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.
Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!
Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.