Maundy Thursday 1 April

Collect
Lord Jesus Christ,
you humbled yourself in taking the form of a servant,
and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:
give us the mind to follow you
and to proclaim you as Lord and King,
to the glory of God the Father.  Amen.

Luke 23.1–25
Then the assembly rose as a body and brought Jesus before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this man perverting our nation, forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.’ Then Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered, ‘You say so.’ Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no basis for an accusation against this man.’ But they were insistent and said, ‘He stirs up the people by teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he began even to this place.’
 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him off to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had been wanting to see him for a long time, because he had heard about him and was hoping to see him perform some sign. He questioned him at some length, but Jesus gave him no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate. That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.
 Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, ‘You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.’
 Then they all shouted out together, ‘Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!’ (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, ‘Crucify, crucify him!’ A third time he said to them, ‘Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.’ But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished.

Psalm 42
    As the deer longs for the water brooks,
   so longs my soul for you, O God.
    My soul is athirst for God, even for the living God;
   when shall I come before the presence of God?
    My tears have been my bread day and night,
   while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’
    Now when I think on these things, I pour out my soul:
   how I went with the multitude
      and led the procession to the house of God,
    With the voice of praise and thanksgiving,
   among those who kept holy day.
    Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul,
   and why are you so disquieted within me?
    O put your trust in God;
   for I will yet give him thanks,
      who is the help of my countenance, and my God.
    My soul is heavy within me;
   therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,
      and from Hermon and the hill of Mizar.
    Deep calls to deep in the thunder of your waterfalls;
   all your breakers and waves have gone over me.
      The Lord will grant his loving-kindness in the daytime;
   through the night his song will be with me,
      a prayer to the God of my life.
      I say to God my rock,
      ‘Why have you forgotten me,
   and why go I so heavily, while the enemy oppresses me?’
      As they crush my bones, my enemies mock me;
   while all day long they say to me, ‘Where is now your God?’
      Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul,
   and why are you so disquieted within me?
      O put your trust in God;
   for I will yet give him thanks,
      who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Dramatised readings, choral and organ music available for each day this week on this link