Service of Remembrance

The Lord's Supper Painting

Sunday marks the beginning of the week that Christians call Holy. It begins with Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem where he was hailed as a conquering hero. It ends with the ultimate and ultimately unexpected triumphs over sin and death’ the resurrection. But a lot happened between those two bookends. One of those was the supper he shared with his disciples on Thursday of that week.

In commemoration of that, we will gather, not on Wednesday this week, but on Thursday. We will share a supper too, a more relaxed one around the tables of Heritage Hall. And then another, as we observe communion as part of a Maundy Thursday service in the narthex. The term “maundy” is from the traditional church term for this service of remembrance. It stems from the Latin word from which we get the term “mandate.” On that evening Jesus commanded his followers to love one another. He also commanded to them the practice of a meal of remembrance to mark the sacrifice he was about to make. To that end, we will do that.

It strikes me that our narthex has a feel of a grotto, a gathering place where such a dinner was originally held. If we allow ourselves, we may be spiritually transported to the place and resonate on the meaning and message of the service. We are bound together by the love he showed and shared. We are humbled by the example of the one whose every act that night were ones of humility. And we are forever changed by the sacrifice that the bread and cup remind us of. Somehow, experiencing it in a place and time that is not so usual draws us closer to the uniquely powerful expressions of that Thursday, and this one. I look forward to seeing you there.