United Dioceses of Dublin & Glendalough



Kaleidoscope of Images of Maundy Thursday – Chrism Eucharist in Dublin and Glendalough

Kaleidoscope of Images of Maundy Thursday – Chrism Eucharist in Dublin and Glendalough
Archbishop Michael Jackson washes the feet of members of the clergy during the Chrism Eucharist on Maundy Thursday.

Clergy and laity gathered in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, for the Chrism Eucharist on Maundy Thursday this morning (March 28). The service, which was sung by the Cathedral Choir, included foot washing and the consecration of oils, and clergy and lay ministers renewed their commitment to ministry.

In his sermon, Archbishop Michael Jackson observed that there were so many stories within the story of Maundy Thursday, its new commandment and its foot–washing. It was like a kaleidoscope – it takes time for the features of the image to settle so that we can get our head around them.

He outlined a number of the stories or pictures based on St John: 13. First, there is no community without compromise. The Archbishop said that the disciples were tense about Judas Iscariot but in the presence of the Love of God Incarnate there was a community of compromise and there was no sense that Jesus ceased to love Judas. Then there was the encounter between Peter and Jesus in which Peter was distressed about the inversion of roles before moving to accept the washing of his feet, hands and head.

The second picture is that there is no love without loss and the Archbishop said that everyone was losing something in this narrative. “Nothing less than the erosion and loss of hierarchy are what is being presented here as a gift to the disciples who will continue to be disciples. But the game changer is that they will from now do Masterly work. They are, in effect, being told that what the future holds for them is that they must do a service of love as a life of teaching, preaching and healing,” he stated.

There is no salvation without suffering, is the third picture. The Archbishop suggested that it was not possible to do any ministry of service without the freedom and the release into the wilderness of the world that Lenten obedience has provided. “Our suffering and the suffering of others are the contents and the construction of salvation. We might even call it the kaleidoscope of vulnerability; because we need to rescue the word: vulnerability as agency from the ways in which it has been taken prisoner by a wide range of self–authenticating second–hand agenda so many of them derived from contemporary Wokery,” he said.

The final picture the Archbishop highlighted was the inversion of power. He said that on this day of the narrative of the New Commandment it was necessary to work out the relationship between water and towel and bread and wine.

“There is a great deal happening on Maundy Thursday. The one thing that is clear is that power itself is inverted, hierarchy is newly respected, justice is rediscovered as a potent salvific force, yet as one that is domestic of access. Many households have water and towel, bread and wine. The elements of material and natural creation are put at the service – newly (novum) – of The Christ of Creation as a commandment (mandatum) to us. If that holds for water and towel, bread and wine, then surely it has to hold for us in our ministry of service and of leadership, of ordination and discipleship – all over again at what is in so many ways the beginning of The Paschal Year in its fulness and in its fragility. To misquote 007: we are both shaken and stirred,” he said.

Following the service, the clergy and readers were invited to lunch together in the cathedral’s Chapter House.

You can read the Archbishop’s sermon in full here

Clergy and Lay Readers renew their commitment to ministry.
Clergy and Lay Readers renew their commitment to ministry.

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