Outline of a Simple Worship – A Sacred Art

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Light the Christ Candle during this time if it is not already lit. Depending on your worship space, you may also prepare food for the table, communion elements, basins or water pitchers, etc. Worshipers at home can prepare their worship space by lighting candles and gathering their communion elements and playing music.

passing welcome and peace

Give a brief introduction to Maundy Thursday and the ancient rituals of foot washing and communion. Worshipers may need to know about table meals, foot washing, communion, reciting hymns, etc. Close the welcome by inviting worshipers to spread the peace of Jesus Christ to one another.

opening hymn

Call for puja or opening prayer

declaration of word

Scripture: John 13:1-17, 31b-35

If you have pitchers to fill water into the foot washing basin, pour water from the pitcher into the basin while this scripture is being read. Depending on your worship space, you may also begin the service with a full baptism or font and use pitchers to take water from the baptismal or font to fill the basins.


Here you can preach a short sermon, practice Visio Divina with an image like Hannah Garrity (or one of the images at the top of this post), read a Maundy Thursday poem, have a time of silence, or Practice Lectio Divina with guided meditation, and/or reading scripture.

washing feet

You might include the following in your bulletin and/or say it out loud: “Washing feet is uncomfortable for many people, just as Peter was uncomfortable with Jesus washing his feet. We invite you to join us in this discomfort around sensitivity as we wash each other’s feet tonight.” Worshipers at home use large basins or bathtubs to wash each other’s feet. can do.


Start this hymn as people proceed to the foot washing stations, then continue playing the instrumental music below. Once everyone has returned to their seats you may choose to repeat the first verse.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

This passage contains a version of the words of institution spoken during the celebration of the feast. Depending on your particular tradition around the Eucharist, you can creatively weave this text into the celebration of Communion as a sensitive reading.

answer the declared word

celebrating communion

Create a liturgy around communion that is most comfortable for your tradition. When it comes time to serve, pass the elements around the table, just as you might serving dishes at a large family meal. For larger crowds, you can pass out multiple plates and cups. Play music while fellowship is being taken.

hymn of recession

You can include the following in your bulletin: “As Jesus and his disciples emerged from the upper room singing the psalm, we invite you to join us as we take a break from singing as we shine the light of Christ. Takes you to the world.” Be sure to print the lyrics in a bulletin that worshipers can take with them, or choose a hymn with simple repetitive words. If you are worshiping in different locations on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, you can take the Christ Candle to the location where you will be worshiping on Good Friday during this recessional hymn. Worshipers at home can easily end their puja time with this bhajan.

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