St. Thomas’ Maundy Thursday Seder Meal
(For Families with Children Age 2-3rd Grade)
Maundy Thursday is a special day in the Christian year. It celebrates the Last Supper Jesus had with his disciples and causes us to look deeper into our Communion Service. The Communion Service is an important gift our Lord Jesus gave us. It helps us to understand, enter into, enjoy, and partake of the salvation he won for us. Communion is a reenactment of Jesus’s “Last Supper” with his disciples. This was a Passover meal (“seder”) that the Jewish people celebrated to remember their rescue from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12). Therefore, for us to understand Communion, we must understand the seder. The best way to do this is to participate in a seder meal, and this is what this worship service does.
Note to Parents: Please feel free to tailor this seder meal to fit your family. While it's great to do the whole service if possible, that may be too much for some families. You can simply read the story before the meal, just do the footwashing, or just do the meal.
This is a feast of symbols, to be enjoyed and deliberated upon. In a family, one set of the following will be sufficient around one family table. Many of the symbolic foods have been left out of this seder as it is not possible for many to purchase them during the quarantine.
- A large bowl with warm water.
- Two towels.
The following items are needed for the seder celebration. The food items must be prepared and placed on the table beforehand. Please note that the first part of the seder service occurs before the meal.
- Unleavened Bread. This can be tortillas, crackers, etc.
- A wine goblet or glass per person.
- Juice (red or purple in color if possible). Water is fine if neither of these items is available.
There must be a leader, who is the head of the household, since this is essentially a family and home celebration, not a synagogue or temple celebration.
THE LEADER SHOULD READ THROUGH THIS SERVICE BEFORE LEADING.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.
1 Peter 5:67
So let us come together before our Lord and God and confess our sinful nature.
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe. How unworthy we are to be called living witnesses to your power and love and purposes. O Lord, send your Holy Spirit upon us now, upon each of us, to dethrone ourselves and enthrone Yeshua as Lord of our lives. And as we eat the bread without leaven tonight, inspire our hearts with gratitude to Yeshua, who made himself nothing for our sake. Amen.
"Yeshua" is the Hebrew pronunciation of the name "Jesus". It is in fact Jesus's name.
ALL NOW RECLINE ON THEIR LEFT SIDE.
This position symbolizes leisure, ease, security, and plenty. It is particularly suggestive of the way that the Roman oppressors (and they were the oppressors at the time of the composition of much of the traditional seder) used to relax and enjoy a leisurely meal. So it symbolizes the fact that the Lord has freed His people from bondage. We see it in practice in Jesus' last Passover. John 13:23
LEADER READS THE FOLLOWING:
STARTING WITH THE LEADER, EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY TAKES A TURN WASHING THE FEET OF EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY.
The family now engages in their dinner. Please note: In Jewish tradition, the blessing is said after the meal.
ALL ARE CALLED BACK TO THE SERVICE.
Brothers and sisters, let us give a blessing.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord for ever and ever.
LEADER THEN READS THE FOLLOWING:
Note. Before beginning to read, the Leader will get a piece of the unleavened bread, a cup for each person, and the “Wine”. As the Leader reads “Jesus picked up some bread and broke it”, the Leader should hold up the unleavened bread and break it.
When the Leader reads “He picked up a cup of wine and thanked God for it. He poured it out and shared it”, the Leader should pour the “wine” into each person’s cup.
When the Leader has finished reading the story above, each person should eat their bread and drink their cup.
Our Lord, come!.
Even so, Lord Yeshua, come!
Amen! Lord Yeshua, come!
Blessed are You, O Lord, our God, King of the Universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine!
Let the final word come from Scripture:
May the God of peace who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Yeshua, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Yeshua, the Messiah, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen!