Thursday, April 1, 2010

Maundy Thursday: Stripping of the Altar with Deacon Dulas

Tradition holds that the altar and its area are stripped at the end of the Maundy Thursday service. Deacon Dulas provides the historic Lutheran rite for us.


The Rite of Stripping of the Altar

The Service concludes with the Benedicamus, there is no Benediction, then the Celebrant chants the Antiphon and the first half of the first verse of Psalm 22, then the choir continues the chanting of the rest of the psalm.

The Celebrant, assisted by the Deacon and Subdeacon, strip the Altar. The communion vessels are removed first, followed by the altar cross, missal stand, altar candles, altar paraments, pulpit and lectern paraments, chancel candles and candle stands, chancel banners, chancel flowers, and any other items of liturgical use or adornment remaining in the chancel.

If the psalm ends before the stripping of the Altar is finished, the psalm is repeated until the stripping is finished.

When the stripping is finished, the verse of the psalm that the choir is chanting is completed, and then the Celebrant chants the closing antiphon.

Afterwards, everyone leaves in silence.

Antiphon, Psalm Tone 2
Chanted by the Celebrant

THEY DI- || vide My garments a- | mong | them, *
And for My clothing | they | cast | lots.

Psalm 22, Psalm Tone 2
Verse one is chanted responsively by the celebrant and congregation. The choir sings the remaining verses.

MY GOD, || My God, why have You for- | sa-ken ∙ | Me? *
Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of | My | groan- | ing?

|| O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not | hear; | - *
And in the night season, and am | not | si- | lent.

|| But You are | ho- | ly, *
Enthroned in the praises of | Is- | ra- | el.

|| Our fathers trusted in | You; | - *
They trusted, and You deliv- | er- | ed | them.

|| They cri-ed to You, and were de- | li-ver- ∙ | ed; *
They trusted in You, and were not | a- | sham- | ed.

|| But I am a worm, and no | man; | - *
A reproach of men, and despis-ed by | the | peo- | ple.

|| All those who see Me ridicule | Me; | - *
They shoot out the lip, they shake the | head, | say- | ing,

|| “He trust-ed in the Lord, let Him | res-cue ∙ | Him; *
Let Him deliver Him, since He de- | lights | in | Him!”

|| But You are He who took Me out of the | womb; | - *
You made Me trust while on My | mo- | ther’s | breasts.

|| I was cast upon You from | birth. | - *
From My mother’s womb You have | been | My | God.

|| Be not far from Me, for trouble is | near; | - *
For there is | none | to | help.

|| Many bulls have surrounded | Me; | - *
Strong bulls of Bashan have en- | cir- | cled | Me.

|| They gape at Me with their | mouths, | - *
Like a raging and roar- | ing | li- | on.

|| I am poured out like wa -ter, (+) and all My bones are out of | joint; | - *
My heart is like wax; It has melt-ed | with- | in | Me.

|| My strength is dried up like a pot -sherd, (+) and My tongue clings to My | jaws; | - *
You have brought Me to the | dust | of | death.

|| For dogs have surround-ed Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclos-ed | Me. | - *
They pierced My hands | and | My | feet;

|| I can count all My | bones. | - *
They look and | stare | at | Me.

|| They divide My garments a- | mong | them, *
And for My clothing | they | cast | lots.

|| But You, O Lord, do not be far from | Me; | - *
O My Strength, hasten | to | help | Me!

|| Deliver Me from the | sword, | - *
My precious life from the power | of | the | dog.

|| Save Me from the lion’s | mouth | - *
And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have | an- | swered | Me.

|| I will declare Your name to My | breth- | ren; *
In the midst of the assembly I | will | praise | You.

|| You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify | Him, | - *
And fear Him, all you offspring of | Is- | ra- | el!

|| For He has not despise-ed nor abhor-red the affliction of the af- | flict- | ed; *
Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cri-ed to | Him, | He | heard.

|| My praise shall be of You in the great as- | semb- | ly; *
I will pay My vows before those | who | fear | Him.

|| The poor shall eat and be satis- | fi- | ed; *
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live | for- | ev- | er!

|| All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the | Lord,
| - *
And all the families of the nations shall worship | be- | fore | You.

|| For the kingdom is the | Lord’s, | - *
And He rules over | the | na- | tions.

|| All the prosperous of the earth shall eat and | wor- | ship; *
All those who go down to the dust shall bow before Him, even he who cannot keep him- | self | a- | live.

|| A posterity shall | serve | Him. *
It will be recount-ed of the Lord to the next gen- | er- | a- | tion,

|| They will come and declare His righteousness to a people who will be | born, | - *
That He | has | done | this.

There is no Gloria Patri. Repeat the Psalm as many times as necessary.

Antiphon, Psalm Tone 2
Chanted by the Celebrant

THEY DI- || vide My garments a- | mong | them, *
And for My clothing | they | cast | lots.

Silent Prayer

Leave in Silence

After everyone has left, and a convenient time before Good Friday services, the Altars are washed down with water by the clergy.


Stripping of the Altar
with Antiphon and Psalm 22
chanted in Latin


Antiphon and Psalm 22
chanted in Latin
with English translation


Deacon Dulas is ordained into the pastorate and member of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America (  In his own words, "My call is to serve as deacon and missionary-at-large to MN and WI at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tony, WI.  We are starting a mission here in Mayer, MN, and the surrounding area called St. Matthew Ev. Luth. Mission."

Like what you are reading? Check out Deacon Dulas' blog at The Deacon's Didache.

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