The guest room

A liturgy for Maunday Thursday communion

The place is full of pilgrims

the hill of Zion

filled with the sounds of singing



and sheep

lots and lots of sheep

lambs, for the slaughter

needed for the meal

the meal where we remember

remember freedom from slavery

release from oppression

some of us who live in the city

the great city of Jerusalem

take in guest for Passover

this year

the upper room is already set out


ready for the one who

has cured the sick

walked on water

spoken of God’s love and mercy in ways

we can hardly imagine

he’s dangerous to know

coming into Jerusalem on a donkey

overthrowing tables in the temple

the Pharisees are after him

It would be easy to refuse him

to say “no, the upper room’s already booked”

but it’s ready for him

the water pot will be a sign

a sign for those in the know

the upper room is here

here for Jesus

Read: Mark 14:12-26

On the first day of unleavened bread, when the Passover lambs were sacrificed, Jesus’ disciples said to him, ‘Where would you like us to go and get things ready for you to eat the Passover?’

13 He sent off two of his disciples, with these instructions.

Go into the city, and you will be met by a man carrying a water-pot. Follow him. 14 When he goes indoors, say to the master of the house, “The teacher says, where is the guest room for me, where I can eat the Passover with my disciples?” 15 He will show you a large upstairs room, set out and ready. Make preparations for us there.’

16 The disciples went out, entered the city, and found it exactly as he had said.

They prepared the Passover.

17 When it was evening, Jesus came with the Twelve. 18 As they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, ‘I’m telling you the truth: one of you is going to betray me – one of you that’s eating with me.’

19 They began to be very upset, and they said to him, one after another, ‘It isn’t me, is it?’

20 ‘It’s one of the Twelve,’ said Jesus, ‘one who has dipped his bread in the dish with me. 21 Yes: the son of man is completing his journey, as scripture said he would; but it’s bad news for the man who betrays him! It would have been better for that man never to have been born.’

22 While they were eating, he took bread, blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them.

Take it,’ he said. ‘This is my body.’

23 Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

24 ‘This is my blood of the covenant,’ he said, ‘which is poured out for many. 25 I’m telling you the truth: I won’t ever drink from the fruit of the vine again, until that day – the day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’

Jesus Is Arrested

26 They sang a hymn, and went out to the Mount of Olives.


Lord God

we gather

we gather in our homes


coming to the table of grace

set with that which we have to hand

wine, of sorts

bread, of sorts

longing to be fed

to be filled to the brim with the spirit of God

as we share this feast together

through time and space

which we know, are no barrier for you, our heavenly King

as we gather

as we come to break bread and drink wine

may the power of the Holy Spirit fall upon it and us

that, together, we may be the body and blood of Christ Jesus

that we may be nourished though this meal of grace


On the night Jesus was betrayed

in a borrowed upper room

kept secret from the authorities

Jesus changed the meaning of the bread and wine on the table

This is by body, broken for you.” he said

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.” what did that mean

to the disciples gathered in that upper room

what does it mean to us

gathered in this way, in this time?

A new beginning

a way of remembering

remembering Jesus

until he comes again

so take the bread, broken for you

so drink the wine, shed for you

remembering Jesus

until he comes again



Lord Jesus Christ

we remember you

in gratefulness for all you have done for us

in feeding us with this rich spiritual food

brought to us in the simplicity of bread and wine

as we remember you this day

help us to follow you

even to the pain of the cross

to not avert our eyes

to not betray you

and gaze upon such love

such love as this

that your body is broken for us

your blood is shed for us