Prepare for Maundy Thursday

Communion Cup

Today I would like to bring everyone who doesn’t see the daily devotionals up-to-date…and a head start on information for those who do watch daily. We have been preparing specifically for Holy Communion focusing on the importance of remaining mindful of the holy mystery that is this meal. We will share in the Eucharist tonight and on Easter Sunday. So if you aren’t already prepared, here is what is suggest…

First, you will need to select the cup and plate that you will use. Some will choose from their best holiday dishware. Most often we consider the Last Supper to have been a part of Jesus’ last Passover meal with his disciples. It was a special holiday meal, as it is today for our Jewish siblings. It is a meal that is carefully prepared with traditional foods. So it is reasonable to pull out the best crystal and china. It is equally reasonable to set aside the most ordinary plate and cup that you own. After all, Jesus was not among the affluent of his time and likely didn’t have fancy dishes. But what he used would have been cared for and kept kosher. Whatever you choose, wash those items and set them aside to not be used for any other purpose until after worship on Easter morning.

We also have talked about what to drink in this meal. The most obvious choice is grape juice as we use in worship. But in this time of scarcity, you may not be able to find grape juice. Some might suggest wine…but a word of caution. This is not the time to start to “party” early. This is a time of worship and remembering. It is a time of holy mystery. If you grew up in a tradition that used wine, perhaps it holds great meaning to you as part of the sacrament. In which case, by all means use what is meaningful to you. If not, I offer this for your consideration. We often associate the color of Jesus’ blood to the color of the juice or red wine. But the real reason it was used is most likely because it was what everyone drank at every meal…it was the beverage that was served. It also held a special place in the Passover meal as the cup of blessing. For us, water is the most common and accessible to everyone beverage. If you don’t think it’s special enough, remember that when the sword was placed in Jesus’ side, it was both blood and water that gushed out.

You will need to choose a bread. It should be a plain bread that doesn’t distract from the meaning of this holy meal. You may not be able to find Hawaiian Bread like we use at church. Unsliced bread of any kind may not be available in this time of scarcity. Again, the bread that Jesus used would have been the common bread of his day eaten at every meal. Do you eat a slice of white or wheat bread with each meal? Perhaps you will use a slice of the bread that you have. Or perhaps you have a special family recipe that you make every holiday and want to use it for your bread. I also provided a link to a soda bread recipe that I found on Food Network. It was meaningful to me because it doesn’t use the ingredients of bread making that we can’t find right now, namely bread flour and yeast. It reminded me that the Passover bread is matzo, unleavened bread that was a reminder that the Israelites did not have time to wait for the bread to rise before they fled Egypt. We have time for the bread to rise, but we don’t have access to the leaven.

Additional items that you will need for tonight: a candle, a bible, and a spirit open to experience the living presence of Christ.

Peace be with you,

Pastor Dana

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