At Table in Jerusalem: A Hymn for Maundy Thursday
As it is now Holy Week, I’d like to share a hymn text I wrote for Maundy Thursday 2008. During that 2007-08 year, I taught a course on worship at Wesley United Methodist Church in Beaumont and that small group grew quite close to each other. I wrote this hymn in honor of that “Passionate Worship” class. “At Table in Jerusalem” is also suitable for Holy Communion, particularly in times of reconciliation or penitence. If you would like to use it, please just remember the terms of the Creative Commons license, and leave me a comment below letting me know where & when you used it. You can also download a PDF of “At Table In Jerusalem” from my liturgy page.
At table in Jerusalem, Jesus sits at last with friends:
traitors, liars, empty promises, soaring hopes brought low by sin.
Still he stays there, shares the supper of God’s grace and liberty,
giving self for one another, loves and serves them urgently.
Christ our Lifeblood, we too often pour you out in obscene ways,
and your power of forgiveness selfishly within us stays.
Broken lives, our only off’ring—broken bread you now provide,
that in broken souls and bodies, broken sin no more resides.
Holy make our common* meal: be our guest, our host, our food.
In the speech, the song, the silence, share your death and life renewed.
May the prayers which we now offer join those from Gethsemane:
not our small desires accomplish, but your will, eternally.
*or: morning, mid-day, evening
A note on the tune: I wrote it with Calvin Hampton’s (1938-1984) beautiful St Helena tune in mind (see #469 in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982). Unfortunately, that tune is unfamiliar to many communities; in that case Hyfrydol (“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”) would make a suitable substitute.