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A Liturgy for Maundy Thursday
With the Consecration of Holy Oil
An Informal Liturgy Following A Church Pot Luck Supper

 	The following is an informal liturgy for use following our
	congregational Pot Luck Supper.  It is held in our eating place
	and every year features communion.  This year we added the
	consecration of Holy Oil - which, as folk coming from the Reform
	tradition, is a bit unusual.  But we haved used Holy Oil in our
	ministry for many years - and so it is right to consecrate it.

MAUNDY is an English form of the Latin word for commandment.  The
overarching theme of Maundy Thursday is Jesus' new commandment,
given on this the eve of his death,  to "love one another even as
I have loved you" (John 13:34) 

Maundy Thursday is the night of the final meal that Jesus had with
his disciples.  The night in which he washed his disciples feet,
saying after he had done so: (John 13:12-17)

   "Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me
   'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am. 
   Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,
   you also should wash one another's feet.  I have set you an
   example that you should do as I have done for you.  I tell
   you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is
   a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you
   know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Maundy Thursday is the night in which Jesus not only washed his
disciples feet, and later lifted up the bread and the wine and
established a new sacrament in his name - it is also the night of
Gethesame - the night of anguish of soul as he faced his betrayal
and fast approaching death.

Traditionally on this night the church does various things - such
as we are doing this night.  One of these things is to consecrate
the Holy Oil of Anointing   the kind of oil used both for healing
and for  preparing the body of those who have died for burial. 
I will now prepare and consecrate the Holy Oil that we use 
throughout the year  in this church - and in our ministry beyond
these doors.

    Go to Preparing the Oil of Anointing for instructions
    on how to make or prepare the Oil of Anointing outside the 
    Service of Worship.  The following presumes final preparation 
    during the service of Worship.

Tonight we bring the anointing oil - also called "chrism" - that will 
be used this year at Baptisms and Confirmations, for the blessing of 
the sick  and the dying and at other special times -  to be consecrated 
to those uses.

It has been the custom of the church dating back to its very early first
years to use oil for anointing to bless, to consecrate and to heal.  The 
use of oil goes back deep into Old Testament times from the time of the 
Exodus and before.  It was employed in the coronation of kings, in the
consecration of the high priest and in the ordination of the Levites, 
and indeed, it  figured very prominently in the Mosaic ordinances.

In its primitive meaning the word chrism, like the Greek chrisma, was 
used to designate any and every substance that served the purpose of 
smearing or anointing, such as the various kinds of oils, unguents, 
and pigments.  Gradually however, in the writings of the Fathers at all
events, the term came to be restricted to that special kind of oil that
that was used in religious ceremonies and functions, especially in the
administration of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. 

It is considered that the oil symbolizes the fulness of sacramental grace, 
the sweetness of the Christian life and manifold and diverse gifts of 
the Holy Spirit.

The elements of this anointing oil are:
-- olive oil
-- balsam
-- myrrh
-- frankincense
-- cinnamon, cloves, allspice

Heavenly father we ask you to bless these the elements of holy anointing oil.

(In turn -  use the sign of the cross over each)

Bless this balsam to represent the innate sweetness of virtue and to 
symbolize healing. 

Bless this myrrh to represent the purification and  to remind us of 
the anointing of our Lord. 

Bless this frankincense to represent religious fervour and to symbolize 
the priestly office of Christ. 

Bless this clove and cinnamon and allspice to represent the fragrance 
of prayer and the oil of gladness. [Psalm 45:7] 

Bless this olive oil to represent the outpouring of Your grace.

Send your Holy Spirit to consecrate these elements.

(Mix the ingredients together.)

Most holy God, bless this oil that it might be to us the "sweet
savour of Christ." [2 Cor. 2:15]  May it strengthen us, consecrate
us and preserve us so that we may resist contagion with the sins of
the world and may it fill us with grace so that we may be Your dear
disciples and faithful witnesses now and forever.  May it bless and
heal those who are infirm and in need of healing - both the healing
of the body and of the soul and may it encourage us in our walk
with You. Amen.

As we come now to the time of communion   let us hear the very
first account ever written of the last supper - as put down by the
Apostle Paul in the Eleventh Chapter of his first letter to the
Corinthians.   Paul writes:

   For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you:
   The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,
   {24} and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said,
   "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance
   of me." {25} In the same way, after supper he took the cup,
   saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this,
   whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." {26} For
   whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim
   the Lord's death until he comes.

Lord - on this holy night - the night in which the new Passover was
brought to pass we recall what Jesus said and did   How he took
bread, and after giving thanks for it, broke it and gave it to his
disciples saying "take, eat, this is my body which is broken for
you".  We also remember how when the meal was done he took the cup,
the cup of blessing, and gave it to his disciples saying "take,
drink, this is my blood, poured out for many for the forgiveness of
sins.  When you drink this cup, do it in remembrance of me."

Bless O God this bread and this wine.  Send your Spirit upon it and
upon all who gather for this sacred mystery that they may be for us
the body and the blood of our blessed redeemer and that we may
worthily receive the same.  We ask it in his name, saying the
prayer he taught us.... Our Father...


Holy God, source of all love, on the night of his betrayal, Jesus
gave his disciples a new commandment: To love one another as he had
loved them.  We pray you,  by your Holy Spirit write this
commandment  in our hearts.  Help us serve as Jesus served, to not
be afraid to offer ourselves for the sake of others.  Amen

Go now in peace and may the Lord our God bless you and keep you. 
May he make his face to shine up and lift up his countenance upon
you - both now and forevermore.  Amen

copyright - Rev. Richard J. and Charlene E. Fairchild - Spirit Networks, 1999 - 2006
            please acknowledge the appropriate author if citing these sermons.

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