Maundy Thursday Family Worship

Families and friends,

Below is an order of worship you can participate in together as a family. You can do this at any time during your gathering. You might be able to do it all at once or maybe your children need to take it one piece at a time. This is an invitation to remember Jesus’ example of being a loving servant to all.

Before beginning, light a candle to recognize God’s presence with us in our spaces. 


(Adapted with permission from




Opening Prayer

Opening Prayer

God be in my head.

God be in my heart.

God be on my left side.

God be on my right side.

God be in my whole life.


The Word

The Word

Psalm 116:1, 10-17 (Read responsively)

I love God, because he knows my voice and God always listens to me.

Can I ever repay you, God, for all the good things you’ve done for me?

My cup of salvation is full and I lift it up to offer God a toast. Everything I vowed to do for God I will do, and everyone will know that God is good.

Can I ever repay you, God, for all the good things you’ve done for me?

I know I will always be precious to God, even when I die.

God, I owe you my life. You have cut me loose from the ties that were holding me back.

Can I ever repay you, God, for all the good things you’ve done for me?

Thank you, God. I can’t thank you enough.I’ve promised to do good in your name among your people.

Can I ever repay you, God, for all the good things you’ve done for me?


The Gospel

A reading from the Gospel of John:

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God,  got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself.  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.”  Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.”  For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?  You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am.  So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.  Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them.  If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.
People: Thanks be to God.

Other translations: 
Common English Bible
The Message


Storytelling and Reflection

Read: “Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt De la Pena, illustrations by Christian Robinson

(You can purchase the book here, or with enough notice we can have one available to borrow)

After reading, read this short reflection and discuss some of the questions that they pose. 

“I love this book and it has a beautiful message for Maundy Thursday. Nana and CJ are not rich in material things and CJ’s struggle to understand why others have things he doesn’t is palpable. And yet, Nana is teaching CJ about what it means to have a servant’s heart, to see all people as made in God’s image, and that there is treasure in clay jars. I wonder where CJ and his nana were going after church? I wonder what you think they were going to do there? Why? I wonder why CJ complained about having to ride the bus? I wonder who was your favorite character on the bus? What would you like to talk about with that person? At the end of the story, I wonder what you think Nana meant when she said, “Sometimes when you’re surrounded by dirt, CJ, you’re a better witness for what’s beautiful”? I wonder if you think that CJ was glad they came to the soup kitchen at the end of the story?”


*Best practices: Always acknowledge and validate one another’s answers without judgment, especially statements/questions from children. Each person should share their own reflections only (“I” statements). There are no wrong answers as we wonder together. If kids are silly or off topic, let it roll off the group and keep moving along. Sometimes they may engage, other times not, but they are usually soaking something up and they are always aware of whether or not their input is welcome. When there are questions you can’t answer, engage in them together (Google it!), or agree to wonder about it while you are apart and discuss next time.


Closing Prayer

Closing Prayer

A new commandment, you gave at the table, to love one another as you made us able. When we love one another, all will know it is true that we and our friends, indeed, follow you. So let us remember the commandment to love so the world becomes more like heaven above. Amen.

*​From Common Prayer for Children and Families, Jenifer Gamber & Timothy J.S. Seamans

Share any specific prayers and petitions​ you have as a family. Say the Lord’s Prayer together​. Close your time of worship by extinguishing the candle and observe a few moments of silence.




(Optional) Foot-Washing Activity

Feel free to watch this video and incorporate a foot-washing activity into your time together. The video was produced by Christ Church, and will be available on Wednesday evening at 5:00pm.