Maundy Thursday Dinner at Home

What should you eat on Holy Thursday?

Each “Movement” will have these 4 sections (in various order).  Consider having a different family member read/lead each movement if possible.


Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet – (based on John 13:1-17;34-35)

God is humble – John 13, a reading from Children of God Storybook Bible by Desmond Tutu

Jesus and the disciples gathered in Jerusalem. Their feet were dirty from walking the dusty roads telling people about God’s dream. The disciples started arguing over which one of them was the greatest. 

Jesus got up and tied a towel around his waist. He took a basin of water and began to wash the feet of his friends and to dry them on the towel.

Jesus’ friends were shocked. “That is a servant’s job!” they shouted.

But Jesus quietly continued washing their feet. When it was Peter’s turn, he jumped up. “Master, you will never wash my feet!”

“Then you cannot be my disciple,” said Jesus.

“Lord,” cried Peter, “wash my feet, my hands, my head, all of me!”

After Jesus had finished washing their feet, he took off the towel and sat down again. “Do you understand what I have done?” he asked. “You call me Lord and Teacher, but I have washed your feet like a servant. You must follow my example. The leader is the servant of all. You must be as servants to each other. No one is more important than anyone else. I want you to love one another the way I love you.” 

PRAYER:  Dear God, help me to be a willing servant of all.

Learn: In Jesus’ day, people would wash their feet or have their feet washed as the came into someone’s home. This kept the dirt and grime from the outside from coming in the house.

Right now, there is a big focus on washing our hands, so we don’t bring germs into our homes. We’re being told to wash our hands for 20 seconds to get rid of all the germs.

So, we can count to 20, we can say the Lord’s Prayer slowly, we can sing Jesus Loves Me, but today we might sing something else….the refrain to Here I am Lord UMH #593 also takes about 20 seconds.

Wash hands while singing the refrain “Here I Am Lord” while washing hands for 20 seconds.

How do you think that song relates to the story we heard about Jesus washing the disciple’s feet?

  • How does washing our hands help us be in service to one another?
  • How are we serving other people right now?


Tutu, Archbishop Desmond. Children of God Storybook Bible (pp. 106-109). Zonderkidz. Kindle Edition.


Sharing Your Meal Together

One of the unexpected gifts of this season is that families are getting to spend more time together. Especially if you have older kids, you might have found that before all this, you didn’t eat dinner as a family very much, but now, family dinners may be more regular.

Jesus and his friends ate together on a regular basis – food is central to the Bible! Jesus eats with all kinds of people – biblical scholars, those who obsessively follow rules, those who don’t follow rules and even those who the rules say aren’t good enough.

The dinner we remember tonight was special because it was just Jesus and his closest friends – his 12 disciples and the women who traveled with them. They gather in a room in Jerusalem to share a meal.

Eat dinner together using your special dish and telling your family its story.

Bless the meal with this prayer or use one your family’s favorites.

Prayer:  Loving God,
Help us to remember your presence with us,
even as we are separated from
our friends, our family and our church.
Watch over us as we share this meal.
Bless this food to our bodies and our souls,
so that we might be a blessing to Your world.

What has been good about getting to eat dinner together?

When we use these special things, they remind us of people we love or experiences we’ve had. When we celebrate Maundy Thursday, we are remembering – through our actions – the meal Jesus ate with his disciples.

Are there things in the house that have a special memory for you? What is it?

Jesus Shares His Last Meal with His Friends

Matthew 26 – a reading from Children of God Storybook Bible by Desmond Tutu

God invites us into his life of love, joy, and peace

Jesus wanted to celebrate Passover and share a meal with his disciples so he could say good-bye. By that time, many people looked up to Jesus as a great leader. This made some of the priests and the Roman rulers very jealous. Jesus knew that they wanted to arrest him and that his life was in danger. Jesus knew it was time for him to return to his Father.

As they all sat around the table, he picked up a loaf of bread. After thanking God, Jesus broke the bread and passed a piece to each of them.

“This bread is my body,” he said.

Then he took the cup of wine.

Again he thanked God and passed it around to his friends.

“This is my blood,” he said. “I am pouring it out for you. Whenever you break bread and drink wine like this, remember me and remember that someday God’s dream—of everyone sharing and caring, loving and laughing—will come true.”

PRAYER:  Dear God, thank you for making me part of your dream.

*As you share this story, consider sharing bread with each other, acting out that part of the story. When Jesus shares the cup, have each person raise their glass. You can explain too that the drink Jesus shared with his friends was a sign of celebration and joy.


Tutu, Archbishop Desmond. Children of God Storybook Bible (pp. 106-109). Zonderkidz. Kindle Edition.


Take time to pray together

Explain that after dinner, Jesus went to a special place to pray. Here are pictures from the place that Jesus went, the Garden of Gethsemane. This is a garden full of olive trees. Some of the trees are thought to be over 3,000 years old, meaning these trees would have been in this garden when Jesus came here to pray.

Jesus Prays

Matthew 26:36-46

Paraphrase by Rev. J Paige Boyer

After dinner, Jesus went to pray at a place called Gethsemane. He took Peter, James and John with him. When he got there, he asked them to sit with him while he prayed. He said to him to them “I’m so sad today. My heart is breaking. I need you to be with me.”

Jesus moved deeper into the garden filled with olive trees and prayed to God, saying: “If it’s possible, take this suffering away from me. However, not what I want but what you want.”

Jesus prayed again saying: “My Father, if it’s not possible that this cup be taken away unless I drink it, then let it be what you want.”

And he prayed this again a third time.

PRAYER: Dear God, help us to listen for your will as we pray.

Jesus prays for God’s will even though he is scared. Have you ever prayed when you’ve been scared?

  • When else is prayer important for you?

Prayer can take lots of different forms. So, here are a couple of options of how to remember Jesus prayer time in the garden.

Live Stream

Tonight’s live stream uses songs and scriptures to lead us in prayer. Join the livestream on Facebook or on the website.

Cups of Prayer

For this family activity you’ll need an unused cup, small pieces of paper for each member of your family and writing utensils.

When Jesus prayers in the garden, he asks God to “take this cup from him,” so for this movement, we invite you to take a cup and use it as a place hold your prayers.

As we deal with an unprecedented global pandemic, we are likely more aware of the suffering in our world and in our communities. At the same time, we might experiencing suffering in our homes and in our families.

Take a moment to write down a prayer for your own suffering and the suffering that might be closer to home. Place your prayers in the cup.

Then, gather around the cup and pray this prayer or one of your own.

Prayer: Ever present God,
Just as you were with Jesus as he suffered,
Be with us in this season of our own varied sufferings.
Pour yourself into our midst as we face these challenges.
Help us to feel your presence
and to rest in the hope that out of challenges
you are the one who brings new life.