Maundy Thursday

Ubi Caritas: 10 Settings for Holy Week

Ubi Caritas is an ancient chant, thought to have originated in France between the 4th and 10th century (source). The original text has several stanzas. Here is the first stanza with English translation:

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.
Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

Where charity and love are, God is there.
Christ's love has gathered us into one.
Let us rejoice and be pleased in Him.
Let us fear, and let us love the living God.
And may we love each other with a sincere heart. 

(source)

"Immortal Love, Forever Full" and 15 More Anthems for Holy Week

"Immortal Love, Forever Full" and 15 More Anthems for Holy Week

Holy Week is the week in between Palm Sunday and Easter. It’s the time in the church year when we remember the Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal, the denial, the crucifixion.

Some churches have several Holy Week services: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil. Others alternate between having a Maundy Thursday service one year and a Good Friday service the next. Still others have one combined Holy Week service that touches on all the events of the week: the Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden, and the Crucifixion.

Last year, I shared my service outline for a combined Holy Week service that incorporated music, art, and poetry. I used symbols to guide us through the events of the week: Light, Water, Table, Garden, Courtyard, Cross, Darkness. Download a copy for free here.

A Service of Art, Music, and Readings for Holy Week

A Service of Art, Music, and Readings for Holy Week

Holy Week is a special time in the church year.

We retell the old, old story of Jesus gathering with his disciples, washing their feet, and breaking bread with them; praying in the garden; being betrayed and condemned to death on a cross; and laid in a tomb sealed with a stone. It’s a somber week of remembrance and reflection on God’s great gifts of love, grace, forgiveness, and redemption. But, we all know how the story ends: with victory, resurrection, hope, and new life.

Some churches have services every day during Holy Week; others may have only one or two services. Maundy Thursday, the remembrance of the Last Supper, and Good Friday, the remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice for us, are the two most common Holy Week services.

We’re in the midst of finalizing our plans for our Maundy Thursday service this year and are leaning toward a more emergent service, with art, music, readings, and communion around the table.

Looking to create something similar for your church? Here’s my step-by-step process: