Apr 07, 2020Maundy Thursday Prayer Vigil

Maundy Thursday Prayer Vigil

Kim Snodgrass One-minute read.   Resources

When: Thursday, April 9-10, 2020, 7:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Where: Online.

To be on a vigil is to be wakeful for a purpose. To the ancient Romans, that could be to stand guard, spy on the activities of a possible enemy, or prepare for a holy occasion. Originally, the desire to take part in the holy occasion is so strong that you can’t wait for it to happen, which means you’re so full of determination that waiting and getting ready is all you can do, to the neglect of sleep or food. You don’t want to miss a second of it, you want to be there even for the preludes or the first sunbeams. This year, you can take part at home!

Sign up to participate in a diocesan-wide Maundy Thursday Prayer Vigil. You can select multiple time slots and more than one person can be praying at the same time. 

“Could you not keep awake one hour?” were the words of Jesus in reproach to his hapless followers in the first Gethsemane. Ever since, his disciples of subsequent generations have attempted to do better, and in some small way to make up what was lacking in the first bunch. 

For some people, participating for an hour at a vigil is a daunting task. An hour can seem like a long time to spend in prayer. Those who volunteer can also download these suggestions to inspire prayer

A vigil isn’t necessarily easy or routine, but it is a time to be in conversation with God. While it may be a challenge, it can be a wonder-filled, grace-filled blessing. 

Adapted from The Gethsemane Watch: A Maundy Thursday Vigil on the Building Faith website.

Kim Snodgrass is Assistant to the Bishop for Christian Formation.

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