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Maundy Thursday Foot Washing Service

A Simple Service During Quarantine

On Maundy Thursday, (or Holy Thursday), we are reminded of the Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples. This Passover meal is a most sacred meal, as it was the time in which Jesus Christ instituted the Lord’s Supper; The Holy sacrament of what we know today to be the Eucharist or holy communion. Maundy Thursday commemorates a few very important events; observance of the true body and blood of Jesus Christ, the New Commandment Jesus gave to His disciples to love and serve each other, and the Lord’s example of humility, through foot washing.

Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

In biblical times, the conditions of the region were dirty and dusty. It was customary to commence in a foot washing upon entering the dwelling place. Foot washing was done by the lowliest of servants; family members and friends did not wash one another’s feet except perhaps out of love and respect and this was very rare. Jesus took this time now to teach another lesson. This lesson was of humble service, teaching about a selfless act of humility, and symbolically representing a spiritual cleansing.

John 13:16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

If you wish to do a foot-washing service in remembrance of the very humble act of Christ Himself and how He washed the feet of the disciples, this would be a very powerful and loving way to help observe Maundy Thursday, to commemorate the very act of selflessness and humility, humbleness and love for thy fellow brothers and sisters and to observe the New Commandment Jesus asked of His disciples; John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

To prepare for your service:

A large bowl

A pitcher

A towel for under the bowl

A towel for each person

Bread (placed in a basket or bowl) and Juice (in a wide cup) for close of service

Small Table where you can place your bread, and juice cup

Be sure to gather with clean feet and no panty-hose or socks.

(Bare feet – sometimes, we just don’t think about it, as dressing is second nature)

Fill your pitcher with warm water. No soap, no oils or perfumes

The Foot Washing and Readings

Read the passage below John 13:1-11

John 13:1-11 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

Host motions for each person to come forward: person removes at least one article of footwear from one foot. The foot washer lowers the person’s foot into the basin or bowl and gently pours water on the bare foot and dries with a towel.

The person places their foot back into their footwear and move onto the next person.

When all have had their feet washed, someone can read the final readings of John 13:12-16 below.

John 13:12-16 New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

Close of Service

You can close your service by breaking bread and sharing juice with your family, commemorating the Holy Sacrament of Communion at the Last Supper, to help us remember how to follow the footsteps of The Master. If you do not wish to take part in breaking of bread and sharing un-fermented wine, you can simply close with words from your heart, special prayer, the Lord's Prayer below and this silence.

Begin by welcoming each other to the Lord’s Table, (prayer hands also known as Gassho pose: meaning, I respect you, I see your spirit, I am one with you and your being, (given current viral status)

Host: Let us commemorate the Lord’s Supper and share in the Lord’s Prayer

Our Father who art in Heaven

hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done,

on earth, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen

Someone Read below:

Matthew 26:26-28 New International Version (NIV)

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Host: I will now pass the basket of bread, please break a small piece of bread from the loaf and hold it.

(Passes basket around to all who gather and takes a piece of bread for themselves last)

Host: I will now pass the cup of juice; you will dip your bread into the cup.

(Passes juice cup around for all who gather to dip bread into juice and then pass cup to person next to them so host can dip bread into juice.)

Host: May this bread and un-fermented wine serve as a reminder of the holy sacrament Jesus instituted on this, Holiest of days, to affirm that we are to walk in grace and fulfill the calling of the commandment to love one another as The Father has loved us. Amen

Go now in peace my brothers and sisters. You are blessed and touched by the love of your family and your faith. Remember this Holy Day and be in gratitude as you go to lay your head down to sleep this night. For this night, Jesus weeps in the Garden of Gethsemane and prepares to pay for our transgressions. Blessings dear ones. Light and Love, Be in service and love for one another. ~Pastor Trish

I am on a mission to love, nurture, teach and restore goodness in the hearts of mankind. It is my calling to heal the body, mind and spirit through Holistic Care; rescuing the human being and the universe as a whole, so that we may claim our oneness and wholeness in connection with the Divine, with the Universe, and with each other. ~ Trisha Fowler

Trisha Renee Fowler

Non-Denominational Pastor

Holistic Practitioner/Integrative Healing Arts Practitioner


Advocate for CT Women of HOPE

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