What ‘a moving service’ were some of the comments received following the ecumenical service on Maundy Thursday at the Ogema United Church. Twenty-six people from Bengough and Ogema attended the Maundy Thursday Seder meal, Holy Eucharist, Tenebrae and Stripping of the Altar in the lower hall of the United Church starting at six 6:00 p.m. and finishing in silence at 7:30 p.m.
Sylvia Fitzgerald, DLM of the United Church and the Reverend Isabella Frank of the Anglican Church led the 90 minute service. Following the welcome and short explanation of the order of service, the Reverend Frank and Sylvia Fitzgerald took turns washing each others feet as part of the Passover. Following the opening prayers, the reading of the Gospel and the reciting of the Apostles’ Creed, the Seder meal began. Members of the United Church served a hot soup which was accompanied with the ‘matzo’. The Seder meal was interspersed with Bible readings and the explanation of the various Seder foods; matzo, karpas, Paschal Lamb, egg, Charoset, horseradish and salt water. Before the ‘Tenebrae’ part of the service, coffee and tea was served by the ladies and everyone completed the eating of their Seder meal.
The lights were turned off with only the candles giving light to the room; at this time various readings were read and the candles extinguished. Silence was observed between the readings, a time of prayer and meditation on the scripture readings. The lights were turned on for the ‘Stripping of the Altar’ when symbols on the altar were removed following a reading; when the last symbol was removed, the gathering left the service in silence, with a small voice of appreciation by those who attended.