A Travellerspoint blog

Maundy Thursday, April 14, 2022

An ECUMENICAL Service of Holy Communion

sunny 61 °F

Holy God, maker of the skies above,
Lowly Christ, born among us,
Life-giving Spirit, renewing the earth,
In earth and sea and sky, you are there.
In everything we touch, in everyone we meet, your presence surrounds us.
We give you thanks.

But we have trampled you in creation
We have missed seeing you in one another
We have rejected you in the poor.
Forgive and renew us, fill us with joy.

Let us pray.
Gracious God, we give you thanks for your Son, Jesus who, on the night before he died, promised that he would be with us always, gave us the gift of himself in bread and wine, and gave us a new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. Mercifully grant that as we open our hearts to receive these gifts we may be strengthened by them to serve you. Amen.

PSALM 78

God led them with a cloud by day,
and all the night through with a glow of fire.

He split the hard rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink as from the great deep.

He brought streams out of the cliff,
and the waters gushed out like rivers.

But they went on sinning against him,
rebelling in the desert against the Most High.

They tested God in their hearts,
demanding food for their craving.

They railed against God and said,
“Can God set a table in the wilderness?

True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed;
but is he able to give bread or to provide meat for his people?”

So he commanded the clouds above
and opened the doors of heaven.

He rained down manna upon them to eat
and gave them grain from heaven.

So mortals ate the bread of angels;
he provided for them food enough. ===(14-20, 23-25)===

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark.
Glory to you, Lord Christ.

When it was evening, Jesus came with the twelve. While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, ‘This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’ When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. ===(14:17, 22-26)===
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Christ.

[i

]A Reflection The Reverend William J. Eakins[/i]

It was the Last Supper, the last time the disciples would eat together, the last time the disciples would all be together as a family, because within a few hours of that supper, all Hell would break loose.

It was night and there were soldiers, and the air was choked with the fear of the disciples’ own deaths - and they didn’t yet know the half of it. But Jesus knew that if ever there were to be a day we would call Good Friday, if the world were ever to be saved from the evil outside those doors and the evil outside our doors, then, within hours, he would bear a cross to Calvary’s hill.

I remember my own last suppers, times of separation that were filled with poignant meaning and choked back tears. I remember when my last son left to go away to school and all the advice I wanted to give him - how to separate the laundry, how to manage his money, how to drive safely, how never to skip breakfast - all the things he needed to know.

I remember the last time I ever saw my father. He was in a nursing home trying to recover from a stroke. He was very weak, lying in bed and barely able to speak. I had to fly home to go back to work. I gave him a big hug and started to leave. And it was then my father lifted his hand as in blessing and spoke the precious words I’ll never forget: “You’ve been a good son, Bill. I’m proud of you.”

Offering a last act of love, giving last words of advice - this is what Jesus was trying to do at the Last Supper, trying to keep his little family of disciples safe in the face of his death. The Passion narratives in the Gospels tell us that his last meal with his disciples, Jesus did three things.

He warns the disciples not to squabble among themselves, that a dispute over who is the greatest is foolish because they are all the greatest, made in his Father’s image and so precious that he will soon die for them, and because being the greatest isn't what it is all about anyway. He tells them to love one another because one another is all they have.

Next he tells them to be servants. “I am among you as one who serves,” he says, as he washes their feet. I have given you an example. Now go and serve each other, remembering that you are so precious that the Almighty God stooped down to be born in a manger for you, that I have stooped to wash your feet, and that I am breaking my body for you.

Jesus knew that servanthood is not an easy road, and so he gives them one last thing; he feeds them a last supper that will endure; he gives them himself. He takes the loaf of bread. “This is my body,” he says and breaks it, fragments it, that the bread can be shared among them and in the sharing make them whole and make his new body whole, his new body that is the Body of Christ, the church, constituted by the squabbling disciples and by all of us throughout the ages who have been fed from the one Body broken and the blood poured forth.

For thousands of years we have shared this real presence, this sacrament of Christ’s giving his life away for the life of the world, for us, that we may give ourselves away for our brothers and sisters. Again and again, over the centuries, the ancient drama of the Last Supper has been enacted in catacombs, on battlefields, in hospital beds, in great cathedrals and tiny chapels, and here in the Show Lounge on the Silver Whisper.

In one way or another, the bread is broken and shared, the wine poured out and drunk. It is our Lord’s last gift to us and his greatest promise. “Take this,” he said, “and share it, divide it, so that the whole world may be fed in my name.”

Jesus’ last instructions are echoed at the end of Ernest Hemingway’s novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls. The freedom fighter, Robert Jordan, is fatally wounded, and Maria, the woman he loves, wants to stay behind and die with him. But he tells her that she must go on, must go ahead and live for him. He says to her:

“Now you will go for us both; you must do your duty now.… Not I but us both. The me in thee. Truly. We both go in thee now. This I have promised thee. Don’t look around. Go.”

And Pablo hit the horse across the crupper … and it looked like Maria tried to slip from the saddle…. “Roberto,” Maria turned and shouted. “Let me stay! Let me stay!” “I am with thee,” Robert shouted back, “I am with thee now. We are both there. Go.”

These words are like the words that Jesus says to us tonight: Take my body. The me in thee. Truly. This have I promised thee. Go. And live for me.

THE WASHING OF HANDS

The Lord Jesus, after he had supped with his disciples and had washed their feet, said to them, "Do you know what I, your Lord and Master, have done to you? I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done."

Those who wish may come forward at this time and present their hands to be washed.
One of the Officiants will pour water over the hands and dry them.

HYMN: Let Us Break Bread Together on our Knees

THE INVITATION

The table of bread and wine is the table of communion with the world for which Christ died. So come to this table; it is Jesus Christ who invites us to meet him here. Come you who have much faith, and you who would have more; Come you who have received this Communion often, and you who have not been at the table for some time; come you who have tried to follow Jesus and you who have failed.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.

We offer you praise, Almighty God, for in the communion of your love, Christ comes to us and we come to Christ. With the whole realm of nature around us, with brothers and sisters from the east and the west, and with those separated from us now who yet in your great mystery are close to us, we join in the song of your unending greatness.

Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

On this night on which Jesus was betrayed, he took bread and blessed it and broke it and gave it to his disciples saying, “This is my Body, given for you.” In the same way, he took wine, gave thanks for it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Drink this, all of you. This is the cup of my blood shed for you.”

Hear us now, O Christ; breathe your Spirit upon us and upon this bread and wine. May these gifts become for us your body, healing, renewing and making us whole. Filled with your presence, may we live in this world as people of mercy and compassion and love.

See, the Body of Christ is broken for the life of the world. Here Christ comes to us in bread and wine, in body and Spirit.

All who are drawn by faith are welcome to receive the sacrament at this,
our one Lord’s table. Hold out your hands and take the bread.
Leave the bread in your hands if you wish a priest to instinct (dip) it in the consecrated wine.

THE WORDS OF ADMINISTRATION

The Body (and Blood) of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for you, preserve your body and soul unto everlasting life. Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your heart by faith, with thanksgiving.

THE PRAYERS

Let us pray. Loving God, we give you thanks for this Holy Communion and for the many ways in which you feed us: for the beauty of the earth, for the experience of travel, for those we love and those who love us, for the disappointments and difficulties that cause us to acknowledge our dependence on you.
Hear us, O Lord.

We pray for the communities of faith from which we have come and to which we shall return.
Hear us, O Lord.

We pray for the sick, the bereaved, the oppressed, the addicted, the homeless, and all who are in need.
Hear us, O Lord.

We entrust our fellow-traveller Linda Orr into your loving care; comfort and sustain her family and friends and all who are anxious about their loved ones.
Hear us, O Lord.

We pray for the people of Ukraine and all whose lives and hearts are disturbed by the violence in their lands. Keep them safe and give hope to all who are discouraged and fearful.
Hear us, O Lord.

We pray for the leaders and the people of all nations that they may seek peace and find justice.
Hear us, O Lord.

Summing up all our petitions, we pray in the words our Savior taught us.

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,
for ever and ever. Amen.

THE VEILING OF THE CROSS.

Peace is my last gift to you, my own peace I now leave with you; peace which the world cannot give, I give to you.

I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.

Peace is my last gift to you, my own peace I now leave with you; peace which the world cannot give, I give to you.

By this shall the world know that you are my disciples: That you have love for one another.

THE BLESSING

The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with you now and remain with you always. Amen.

Officiants: The Reverend Hope H. Eakins, The Reverend William J. Eakins,
The Very Reverend Rick Lawson, Monsignor Joseph Mayo

Usher: Andrea Ryan

Music during Holy Week and Easter: Mario Aningat, Eric MacDavid, and Alex Manev

This Friday, April 15, is called Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ death.
At 5:30 pm, in the Show Lounge, we will hear the Passion story,
and pray for the world Jesus died to save.

The Easter service will be at 9:15 am on Sunday, April 21,
in the Show Lounge. The Silver Whisper Choir will sing.

Posted by HopeEakins 05:59 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Turkey and Greece - all too quickly

Hagia Sophia to the Acropolis to a DermClinic

sunny 60 °F

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We had only a short time in Istanbul, all of it precious, as we saw Hope's Turkish "sister" Ova Sünder. The girls met in 1958 and have been in touch ever since; they have enfolded each other's families into their own families and hug and laugh and cry and remember --- so intensely that they never took photos at our reunion dinner. Then we were off to Athens and a magnificent lunch at the Rooftop Restaurant with brilliant views of the Acropolis and Mt. Lycabettus from our window.

And then to Dermafresh Clinic, as Bill had a little growth on his face. We had taken a photo and sent it to Eric Thomas, our wonderful dermatologist in Middletown. Eric opined that it should likely be removed as soon as possible; the ship's doc made an appointment and we walked into a spa. The entry to the operating room was wall-papered, and copies of Vogue magazine graced the waiting area. The surgeon? In jeans and a tee shirt -AND a white coat. But he did a fine job; the ship is supervising aftercare, and we think this modern world is amazing.

Posted by HopeEakins 10:03 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY, day three

Magic carpets

sunny 65 °F

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After another delightful Turkish breakfast we went to a carpet shop --- but this one was different from all the other shops we have seen in Turkey. It was built in a village via an EU grant to develop projects to keep the countryside populated. The EU has also promoted an innovative and hugely successful program in Turkish prisons to train inmates in rug weaving. Apparently the repetitive motions and sense of accomplishment and proximity to beauty have been of significant benefit to the prisoners. What's more, the men can tie tighter knots than the women, so they produce rugs of exquisite detail and beauty - which are highly prized and valuable. Who would have thought??? We loved the splendid rugs and are very proud that we did not order one.
Love, H&B

Posted by HopeEakins 15:56 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY in the EARLY morning

Halfway to heaven

sunny 58 °F

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The wake-up call came at 4 am, and we were too tired to be excited. But we bundled up into long underwear, parkas, hats and gloves and drove through the dark to the launch site for our hot air balloons. Then the first challenge: getting into the four foot high baskets. Those balloons look so graceful as they float through the sky, but climbing into them is anything but. The nice guides helped with comments like "Get your leg up higher," but our legs were sometimes hard of hearing. Eventually we got all our parts tucked in and took off and were in a magical space as the sun rose. We floated up to the sky and into the valleys, looking down at fairy chimneys and fruit trees bursting into blossom. And when we returned to the hotel, a huge Turkish breakfast awaited us. The next activity: exploring an underground cave town. We waved goodbye to the young and hardy and took a nap.
Hope and Bill

Posted by HopeEakins 14:19 Archived in Turkey Comments (0)

CAPPADOCIA, TURKEY, at night

Dinner and dervishes

sunny 62 °F

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Dinner was another extravaganza. We were driven to the Saruman Caravanserai, built on the Silk Road in the 13th century. The domed inner chamber served as a dance/prayer floor for dervishes who whirled for 45 minutes. The outer chamber had been covered with a canvas roof overlaid with thousands of lights. Following a marvelous meal, we fell into bed. (Remember we left at 7:00 this morning for our flight and climbed all over the Goreme monasteries this afternoon. And tomorrow morning we will be awakened at 4 am for a hot air balloon ride.)
Love, H&B

Posted by HopeEakins 07:23 Archived in Turkey Comments (1)

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