April 6, 2023
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Falls Church, Virginia
PRELUDE Soul Adorn Yourself with Gladness Setting: Johannes Brahms
AS WE GATHER
Holy Thursday, also called “Maundy” (from the Latin for “commandment”), occurring on the eve of our Lord’s crucifixion, begins the celebration of the holy three days of Christ’s Passover commonly known as the Triduum. Our worship during these days observes the final acts of our Lord and the central acts of the Christian faith. Holy Week is a time rich in grace in which we participate in the mystery of God bringing salvation to us through Jesus.
Tonight’s service begins with an extended time of confession reminding us of our mortality and our need of salvation. The absolution which follows closes the Lenten season with a powerful statement of God’s forgiveness – given through the pastor as from God himself.
This year’s Service of the Word concludes our Lenten midweek focus on the parallels between the good kings of Judah, as described in the Books of Chronicles, and our Lord Jesus. The sermon will highlight the joy and blessing of receiving the Lord’s Supper – comparing it to a uniquely joyful celebration of the Passover in the days of King Hezekiah. The Gospel reading begins St. Matthew’s account of Jesus’ Passion, to be concluded on Good Friday.
Upon hearing the Word of God read and proclaimed, we will welcome our newest communicants and celebrate Holy Communion together on this the night when the Supper was instituted. Our worship will conclude as the altar is stripped – an action meant to demonstrate the depth of Christ’s servanthood as he journeys toward the cross.
CORPORATE CONFESSION AND ABSOLUTION LSB 290
In the name of the Father and of the ✠ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
EXHORTATION LSB 290
I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Beloved in the Lord, it is our intention to receive the Holy Supper of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which He strengthens our faith by giving us His body to eat and His blood to drink. Therefore, it is proper that we diligently examine ourselves, as St. Paul urges us to do, for this holy Sacrament has been instituted for the special comfort of those who are troubled because of their sin and who humbly confess their sins, fear God’s wrath, and hunger and thirst for righteousness.
But when we examine our hearts and consciences, we find nothing in us but sin and death, from which we are incapable of delivering ourselves. Therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ has had mercy on us. For our benefit He became man so that He might fulfill for us the whole will and law of God and, to deliver us, took upon Himself our sin and the punishment we deserve.
So that we may more confidently believe this and be strengthened in the faith and in holy living, our Lord Jesus Christ took bread, broke it, and gave it to His disciples and said: “Take, eat; this is My body, which is given for you.” It is as if He said, “I became man, and all that I do and suffer is for your good. As a pledge of this, I give you My body to eat.”
In the same way also He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying: “Drink of it, all of you; this cup is the new testament in My blood, which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” Again, it is as if He said, “I have had mercy on you by taking into Myself all your iniquities. I give Myself into death, shedding My blood to obtain grace and forgiveness of sins, and to comfort and establish the new testament, which gives forgiveness and everlasting salvation. As a pledge of this, I give you My blood to drink.”
Therefore, whoever eats this bread and drinks this cup, confidently believing this Word and promise of Christ, dwells in Christ and Christ in him and has eternal life.
We should also do this in remembrance of Him, showing His death—that He was delivered for our offenses and raised for our justification. Giving Him our most heartfelt thanks, we take up our cross and follow Him and, according to His commandment, love one another as He has loved us. For we are all one bread and one body, even as we are all partakers of this one bread and drink from the one cup. For just as the one cup is filled with wine of many grapes and one bread made from countless grains, so also we, being many, are one body in Christ. Because of Him, we love one another, not only in word, but in deed and in truth.
May the almighty and merciful God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, accomplish this in us.
Having heard the Word of God, let us confess our sins to Him, imploring Him for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.
CONFESSION OF SINS LSB 291
O almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto You all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended You and justly deserved Your temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them and sincerely repent of them, and I pray You of Your boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being.
God be merciful to you and strengthen your faith.
Do you believe that the forgiveness I speak is not my forgiveness but God’s?
Let it be done for you as you believe.
ABSOLUTION LSB 291
In the stead and by the command of my Lord Jesus Christ I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the ✠ Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. Go in ✠ peace.
ENTRANCE HYMN #636 (Stand) Sts. 1-4 Soul Adorn Yourself with Gladness
1 Soul, adorn yourself with gladness,
Leave the gloomy haunts of sadness,
Come into the daylight’s splendor,
There with joy your praises render.
Bless the One whose grace unbounded
This amazing banquet founded;
He, though heav’nly, high, and holy,
Deigns to dwell with you most lowly.
2 Hasten as a bride to meet Him,
And with loving rev’rence greet Him.
For with words of life immortal
He is knocking at your portal.
Open wide the gates before Him,
Saying, as you there adore Him:
Grant, Lord, that I now receive You,
That I nevermore will leave You.
3 He who craves a precious treasure
Neither cost nor pain will measure;
But the priceless gifts of heaven
God to us has freely given.
Though the wealth of earth were proffered,
None could buy the gifts here offered:
Christ’s true body, for you riven,
And His blood, for you once given.
4 Now in faith I humbly ponder
Over this surpassing wonder
That the bread of life is boundless
Though the souls it feeds are countless:
With the choicest wine of heaven
Christ’s own blood to us is given.
Oh, most glorious consolation,
Pledge and seal of my salvation!
PRAYER OF THE DAY
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray. O Lord,
in this wondrous Sacrament You have left us a remembrance of Your passion. Grant that we may so receive the sacred mystery of Your body and blood that the fruits of Your redemption may continually be manifest in us; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen
OLD TESTAMENT READING (Be seated) 2 Chronicles 30:1–5, 10–13, 22b–27
Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of the Lord at Jerusalem to keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel. For the king and his princes and all the assembly in Jerusalem had taken counsel to keep the Passover in the second month— for they could not keep it at that time because the priests had not consecrated themselves in sufficient number, nor had the people assembled in Jerusalem— and the plan seemed right to the king and all the assembly. So they decreed to make a proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba to Dan, that the people should come and keep the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem, for they had not kept it as often as prescribed.
So the couriers went from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, and as far as Zebulun, but they laughed them to scorn and mocked them. However, some men of Asher, of Manasseh, and of Zebulun humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem. The hand of God was also on Judah to give them one heart to do what the king and the princes commanded by the word of the Lord.
And many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread in the second month, a very great assembly.
And Hezekiah spoke encouragingly to all the Levites who showed good skill in the service of the Lord. So they ate the food of the festival for seven days, sacrificing peace offerings and giving thanks to the Lord, the God of their fathers.
Then the whole assembly agreed together to keep the feast for another seven days. So they kept it for another seven days with gladness. For Hezekiah king of Judah gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 7,000 sheep for offerings, and the princes gave the assembly 1,000 bulls and 10,000 sheep. And the priests consecrated themselves in great numbers. The whole assembly of Judah, and the priests and the Levites, and the whole assembly that came out of Israel, and the sojourners who came out of the land of Israel, and the sojourners who lived in Judah, rejoiced. So there was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. Then the priests and the Levites arose and blessed the people, and their voice was heard, and their prayer came to his holy habitation in heaven.
L: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.
PSALM 116:12-19 (Read responsively, by whole verse)
What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
NEW TESTAMENT READING Hebrews 9:11-22
When Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
L: This is the Word of the Lord.
C: Thanks be to God.
GOSPEL VERSE (Stand)
O come, let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the founder and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
GOSPEL READING Matthew 26:17-30
P: The Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, the 26th chapter.
C: Glory to You, O Lord.
Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
P: This is the Gospel of the Lord.
C: Praise to You, O Christ.
SERMON (Be seated)
HYMN OF THE DAY #636 (Stand) Sts. 5-8 Soul Adorn Yourself with Gladness
5 Jesus, source of lasting pleasure,
Truest friend, and dearest treasure,
Peace beyond all understanding,
Joy into all life expanding:
Humbly now, I bow before You;
Love incarnate, I adore You;
Worthily let me receive You
And, so favored, never leave You.
6 Jesus, sun of life, my splendor,
Jesus, friend of friends, most tender,
Jesus, joy of my desiring,
Fount of life, my soul inspiring:
At Your feet I cry, my maker,
Let me be a fit partaker
Of this blessèd food from heaven,
For our good, Your glory, given.
7 Lord, by love and mercy driven,
You once left Your throne in heaven
On the cross for me to languish
And to die in bitter anguish,
To forego all joy and gladness
And to shed Your blood in sadness.
By this blood redeemed and living,
Lord, I praise You with thanksgiving.
8 Jesus, bread of life, I pray You,
Let me gladly here obey You.
By Your love I am invited,
Be Your love with love requited;
By this Supper let me measure,
Lord, how vast and deep love’s treasure.
Through the gift of grace You give me
As Your guest in heav’n receive me.
APOSTLES’ CREED (Hymnal, back cover)
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life ✠ everlasting. Amen.
RITE OF FIRST COMMUNION PRIOR TO CONFIRMATION
Offerings support the church’s mission work – both here and through our many partners. Offerings may be placed in the box at the sanctuary entrance or sent to the church through our website or the mail. Fellowship Cards help us welcome new people and track participation. Please fill one out and place it in the offering box following the service.
PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH (Kneel)
Let us pray for the whole Church of God in Christ Jesus and for all people according to their needs.
Gracious Lord, by Your righteousness deliver our souls from death, for you have said that we are precious in Your sight. Embolden our hearts to prayer, that we may do so in the confidence that Christ our Savior prays with us. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord God of hosts, You raised up prophets, priests and kings to serve your ancient people. Raise up pastors, church workers and congregational leaders in our day, that your church would be healthy and strong and fulfill its mission of service to the world. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Everlasting Father, Your Son offered Himself through the eternal Spirit as a sacrifice without blemish. By this sacrifice, purify our conscience from dead works, that we may serve You always in newness and holiness of life. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
O Lord, preserve us from harm amid plagues, enemies and a world filled with conflict and terror. Give us wise leaders, guide those who make and administer our laws, give to all judges knowledge to render justice with mercy, and bless our military, emergency and medical workers – both here and abroad. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Lord God of Israel, we rally to Your altar in the wilderness of this world. Hear our prayers for all those who are sick, especially those on our prayer list and those we name in hearts at this time… Refresh them so that they can endure their suffering, comfort them with Your Word, and nourish them in body and soul. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
O Lord, You have freed Your Church from slavery to this world and gathered us around Your holy mountain. Hearing again the proclamation of Your New Testament, as given through your Holy Supper, cleanse us through Christ’s body and blood offered for us on Calvary. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.
Into Your hands, O Lord, we commend ourselves, our bodies and souls and all things; redeem us for the sake of Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
ANTHEM Jubilation Choir Create in Me Setting: John Leavitt
Create in me a clean heart, O God
And renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence, Lord,
And take not your spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of your salvation
And uphold me with your free spirit. Amen.
✠ ✠ ✠
SERVICE OF THE SACRAMENT
PREFACE p. 208
The Lord be with you.
And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up unto the Lord.
Let us give thanks unto the Lord, our God.
It is meet and right so to do.
It is truly good right and salutary…evermore praising You and saying:
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth adored;
Heav’n and earth with full acclaim shout the glory of Your name.
Sing hosanna in the highest, sing hosanna to the Lord;
Truly blest is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven;
give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom
and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.
THE WORDS OF OUR LORD
The peace of the Lord be with you always.
AGNUS DEI p. 209
1 O Jesus Christ, true Lamb of God,
You take the sin of the world away;
O Jesus Christ, true Lamb of God,
Have mercy on us, Lord, we pray.
2 O Jesus Christ, true Lamb of God,
You take the sin of the world away;
Have mercy on us, Jesus Christ,
And grant us peace, O Lord, we pray.
DISTRIBUTION (Be seated)
The Communion Assistant will come forward to receive first, then those from the pulpit side – by order of pew, front to back. Communicants will come up the center aisle and return via the side aisle. When all from the pulpit side have communed, the baptismal font side will commune in the same manner. We ask that the wine be consumed away from the tray table. Empty cups should be dropped into the receptacles.
COMMUNION HYMN #619 Thy Body, Given for Me, O Savior
1 Thy body, giv’n for me, O Savior,
Thy blood which Thou for me didst shed,
These are my life and strength forever,
By them my hungry soul is fed. Refrain
Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood
Be for my soul the highest good!
2 With Thee, Lord, I am now united;
I live in Thee and Thou in me.
No sorrow fills my soul, delighted
It finds its only joy in Thee. Refrain
3 Who can condemn me now? For surely
The Lord is nigh, who justifies.
No hell I fear, and thus securely
With Jesus I to heaven rise. Refrain
4 Though death may threaten with disaster,
It cannot rob me of my cheer;
For He who is of death the master
With aid and comfort e’er is near. Refrain
5 My heart has now become Thy dwelling,
O blessèd, holy Trinity.
With angels I, Thy praises telling,
Shall live in joy eternally. Refrain
THE STRIPPING OF THE ALTAR (Be seated)
HYMN #436 Go to Dark Gethsemane
1 Go to dark Gethsemane,
All who feel the tempter’s pow’r;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see,
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away;
Learn from Jesus Christ to pray.
2 Follow to the judgment hall,
View the Lord of life arraigned;
Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suff’ring, shame, or loss;
Learn from Him to bear the cross.
3 Calv’ry’s mournful mountain climb;
There, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time,
God’s own sacrifice complete.
“It is finished!” hear Him cry;
Learn from Jesus Christ to die.
4 Early hasten to the tomb
Where they laid His breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom.
Who has taken Him away?
Christ is ris’n! He meets our eyes.
Savior, teach us so to rise.
CHORAL POSTLUDE Gethsemane Setting: David Cherwien
+ We leave in silence +
THOSE SERVING IN OUR MIDST:
Greeter: Steve Berg
Comm. assist: Dan Buuck
Reader: Dan Buuck
Friday, April 7 Good Friday – Evening Service – 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 8 Easter Vigil (HC) – 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 9 Easter Sunday (HC) – 8:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Mandarin Chinese Service 12:15 p.m.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Created by Lutheran Service Builder © 2023 Concordia Publishing House.
O Come, Let Us Fix Our Eyes on Jesus Text: Hebrews 12:2, alt. Tune: Mark L. Bender, b. 1951 Text: © 2001 Crossway Bibles. Used by permission: OAR Hymn License no. 110005326 Tune: © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission: OAR Hymn License no. 110005326
Soul, Adorn Yourself with Gladness Text: Johann Franck, 1618–77; (sts. 1, 4): tr. Lutheran Book of Worship, 1978; (sts. 2–3, sts. 6–8): tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1827–78, alt. Text (sts. 1, 4): © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Text: Johann Franck, 1618–77; (st. 5)© 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110005326 Text (sts. 6–8): Public domain
Text (sts. 2–3): Public domain Tune: Johann Crüger, 1598–1662 Tune: Public domain
Thy Body, Given for Me, O Savior Text: Friedrich Christian Heyder, 1677–1754; tr. The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941, abr. Tune: Emskirchner Choral-Buch, 1756, Leipzig Text: © 1941 Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License no. 110005326 Tune: Public domain
Go to Dark Gethsemane Text: James Montgomery, 1771–1854 Tune: Richard Redhead, 1820–1901 Text & Tune: Public domain