GOOD FRIDAY

 

Meditations on the Suffering and Death

of

Jesus, the Christ


 

Bishop Cait: We come together today with solemn reverence to remember the torture and death of Jesus Christ, Who was faithful to His mission to bring the Good News of God’s Love for Creation. He was obedient to that mission to the point of death, and we live in awe of such infinite Love, and in hope to return it directly to God, and through loving one another as Jesus commanded.

Let us recollect ourselves for this afternoon’s tale of suffering and death so that we might hear the Good News and live in response to it.

Dear God, Almighty Love, open our hearts and minds to Your Love, as we remember these events suffered by Your beloved Son, and our Brother, Jesus the Christ. Help us to grow in that Charity which was Christ’s ultimate command to us who follow Him.

All: Amen

_____________________________________

First reading Isaiah 52:13-53:12 ©

 

The servant of the Lord, an expiatory Sacrifice

See, my servant will prosper, he shall be lifted up, exalted, rise to great heights.

As the crowds were appalled on seeing him – so disfigured did he look

that he seemed no longer human – so will the crowds be astonished at him,

and kings stand speechless before him; for they shall see something never told

and witness something never heard before: ‘Who could believe what we have heard,

and to whom has the power of the Lord been revealed?’

Like a sapling he grew up in front of us, like a root in arid ground.

Without beauty, without majesty we saw him, no looks to attract our eyes;

a thing despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering,

a man to make people screen their faces; he was despised and we took no account of him.

And yet ours were the sufferings he bore, ours the sorrows he carried.

But we, we thought of him as someone punished, struck by God, and brought low.

Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins.

 

On him lies a punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed.

We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way,

and the Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us.

Harshly dealt with, he bore it humbly, he never opened his mouth,

like a lamb that is led to the slaughter-house, like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers never opening its mouth.

 

By force and by law he was taken; would anyone plead his cause?

Yes, he was torn away from the land of the living; for our faults struck down in death.

They gave him a grave with the wicked, a tomb with the rich,

though he had done no wrong and there had been no perjury in his mouth.

The Lord has been pleased to crush him with suffering.

If he offers his life in atonement, he shall see his heirs, he shall have a long life

and through him what the Lord wishes will be done.

His soul’s anguish over he shall see the light and be content.

 

By his sufferings shall my servant justify many, taking their faults on himself.

Hence I will grant whole hordes for his tribute, he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,

for surrendering himself to death and letting himself be taken for a sinner,

while he was bearing the faults of many and praying all the time for sinners.

 

The Word of God.

 

All: Thanks be to God!

Responsorial Psalm Psalm 30(31):2,6,12-13,15-17,25

 

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge.
Let me never be put to shame.
In your justice, set me free,
Into your hands I commend my spirit.
It is you who will redeem me, Lord.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

You who have seen my affliction,
and taken heed of my soul’s distress,
have not handed me over to the enemy,
but set my feet at large.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

But as for me, I trust in you, Lord;
I say: ‘You are my God.
My life is in your hands, deliver me
from the hands of those who hate me.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

Let your face shine on your servant.
Save me in your love.’
Be strong, let your heart take courage,
all who hope in the Lord.

Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

 

 

 

Second reading Hebrews 4:14-16,5:7-9 ©

 

The Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us

Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the supreme high priest who has gone through to the highest heaven, we must never let go of the faith that we have professed. For it is not as if we had a high priest who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us; but we have one who has been tempted in every way that we are, though he is without sin. Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace, that we shall have mercy from him and find grace when we are in need of help.

  During his life on earth, he offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.

The Word of God.

 

Re Thanks be to God.

 

 

Gospel Acclamation  Phil2:8-9:   

 

D/P/B:  Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

All:     Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

D/P/B:  Christ was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.

But God raised him high and gave him the name which is above all names.

 

All:  Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel  John 18:1-19:42 

The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ

Key:  N. Narrator.   ✠ Jesus.   O. Other single speaker.   C. Crowd, or more than one speaker.

  

N. Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kedron valley. There was a garden there, and he went into it with his disciples. Judas the traitor knew the place well, since Jesus had often met his disciples there, and he brought the cohort to this place together with a detachment of guards sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees, all with lanterns and torches and weapons. Knowing everything that was going to happen to him, Jesus then came forward and said,

  ✠ Who are you looking for?

  N. They answered,

 

  C. Jesus the Nazarene.

 

  N. He said,

 

  ✠ I am he.

 

  N. Now Judas the traitor was standing among them. When Jesus said, ‘I am he’, they moved back and fell to the ground. He asked them a second time,

 

  ✠ Who are you looking for?

 

  N. They said,

 

  C. Jesus the Nazarene.

 

  N. Jesus replied,

 

  ✠ I have told you that I am he. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.

 

  N. This was to fulfil the words he had spoken, ‘Not one of those you gave me have I lost.’

  Simon Peter, who carried a sword, drew it and wounded the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Jesus said to Peter,

 

  ✠ Put your sword back in its scabbard; am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?

 

  N. The cohort and its captain and the Jewish guards seized Jesus and bound him. They took him first to Annas, because Annas was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had suggested to the Jews, ‘It is better for one man to die for the people.’

  Simon Peter, with another disciple, followed Jesus. This disciple, who was known to the high priest, went with Jesus into the high priest’s palace, but Peter stayed outside the door. So the other disciple, the one known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who was keeping the door and brought Peter in. The maid on duty at the door said to Peter,

 

  O. Aren’t you another of that man’s disciples?

 

  N. He answered,

 

  O. I am not.

 

  N. Now it was cold, and the servants and guards had lit a charcoal fire and were standing there warming themselves; so Peter stood there too, warming himself with the others.

  The high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered,

 

  ✠ I have spoken openly for all the world to hear; I have always taught in the synagogue and in the Temple where all the Jews meet together: I have said nothing in secret. But why ask me? Ask my hearers what I taught: they know what I said.

 

  N. At these words, one of the guards standing by gave Jesus a slap in the face, saying,

 

  O. Is that the way to answer the high priest?

 

  N. Jesus replied,

 

  ✠ If there is something wrong in what I said, point it out; but if there is no offence in it, why do you strike me?

 

  N. Then Annas sent him, still bound, to Caiaphas the high priest.

  As Simon Peter stood there warming himself, someone said to him,

 

  O. Aren’t you another of his disciples?

 

  N. He denied it, saying,

 

  O. I am not.

 

  N. One of the high priest’s servants, a relation of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said,

 

  O. Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?

 

  N. Again Peter denied it; and at once a cock crew.

  They then led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium. It was now morning. They did not go into the Praetorium themselves or they would be defiled and unable to eat the passover. So Pilate came outside to them and said,

 

  O. What charge do you bring against this man?

 

  N. They replied,

 

  C. If he were not a criminal, we should not be handing him over to you.

 

  N. Pilate said,

 

  O. Take him yourselves, and try him by your own Law.

 

  N. The Jews answered,

 

  C. We are not allowed to put a man to death.

 

  N. This was to fulfil the words Jesus had spoken indicating the way he was going to die.

  So Pilate went back into the Praetorium and called Jesus to him, and asked,

 

  O. Are you the king of the Jews?

 

  N. Jesus replied,

 

  ✠ Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?

 

  N. Pilate answered,

 

  O. Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?

 

  N. Jesus replied,

 

  ✠ Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.

 

  N. Pilate said,

 

  O. So you are a king, then?

  N. Jesus answered,

 

  ✠ It is you who say it. Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.

 

  N. Pilate said,

 

  O. Truth? What is that?

 

  N. and with that he went out again to the Jews and said,

 

  O. I find no case against him. But according to a custom of yours I should release one prisoner at the Passover; would you like me, then, to release the king of the Jews?

 

  N. At this they shouted:

 

  C. Not this man, but Barabbas.

 

  N. Barabbas was a brigand.

  Pilate then had Jesus taken away and scourged; and after this, the soldiers twisted some thorns into a crown and put it on his head, and dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him and saying,

 

  C. Hail, king of the Jews!

 

  N. and they slapped him in the face.

  Pilate came outside again and said to them,

 

  O. Look, I am going to bring him out to you to let you see that I find no case.

 

  N. Jesus then came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said,

 

  O. Here is the man.

 

  N. When they saw him the chief priests and the guards shouted,

 

  C. Crucify him! Crucify him!

 

  N. Pilate said,

 

  O. Take him yourselves and crucify him: I can find no case against him.

 

  N. The Jews replied,

 

  C. We have a Law, and according to that Law he ought to die, because he has claimed to be the Son of God.

 

  N. When Pilate heard them say this his fears increased. Re-entering the Praetorium, he said to Jesus

 

  O. Where do you come from?

 

  N. But Jesus made no answer. Pilate then said to him,

 

  O. Are you refusing to speak to me? Surely you know I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?

 

  N. Jesus replied,

 

  ✠ You would have no power over me if it had not been given you from above; that is why the one who handed me over to you has the greater guilt.

 

  N. From that moment Pilate was anxious to set him free, but the Jews shouted,

 

  C. If you set him free you are no friend of Caesar’s; anyone who makes himself king is defying Caesar.

 

  N. Hearing these words, Pilate had Jesus brought out, and seated himself on the chair of judgement at a place called the Pavement, in Hebrew Gabbatha. It was Passover Preparation Day, about the sixth hour. Pilate said to the Jews,

 

  O. Here is your king.

 

  N. They said,

 

  C. Take him away, take him away! Crucify him!

 

  N. Pilate said,

 

  O. Do you want me to crucify your king?

 

  N. The chief priests answered,

 

  C. We have no king except Caesar.

 

  N. So in the end Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

  They then took charge of Jesus, and carrying his own cross he went out of the city to the place of the skull or, as it was called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified him with two others, one on either side with Jesus in the middle. Pilate wrote out a notice and had it fixed to the cross; it ran: ‘Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.’ This notice was read by many of the Jews, because the place where Jesus was crucified was not far from the city, and the writing was in Hebrew, Latin and Greek. So the Jewish chief priests said to Pilate,

 

  C. You should not write ‘King of the Jews,’ but ‘This man said: “I am King of the Jews.”’

 

  N. Pilate answered,

 

  O. What I have written, I have written.

 

  N. When the soldiers had finished crucifying Jesus they took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another,

 

  C. Instead of tearing it, let’s throw dice to decide who is to have it.

 

  N. In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled:

  They shared out my clothing among them.

  They cast lots for my clothes.

 This is exactly what the soldiers did.

 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother,

  

✠ Woman, this is your son.

 

  N. Then to the disciple he said,

 

  ✠ This is your mother.

 

  N. And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home.

  After this, Jesus knew that everything had now been completed, and to fulfil the scripture perfectly he said:

 

  ✠ I am thirsty.

 

  N. A jar full of vinegar stood there, so putting a sponge soaked in the vinegar on a hyssop stick they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the vinegar he said,

 

  ✠ It is accomplished;

 

  N. and bowing his head he gave up his spirit.

  Here all kneel and pause for a short time.

  It was Preparation Day, and to prevent the bodies remaining on the cross during the sabbath – since that sabbath was a day of special solemnity – the Jews asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken away. Consequently the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with him and then of the other. When they came to Jesus, they found he was already dead, and so instead of breaking his legs one of the soldiers pierced his side with a lance; and immediately there came out blood and water. This is the evidence of one who saw it – trustworthy evidence, and he knows he speaks the truth – and he gives it so that you may believe as well. Because all this happened to fulfil the words of scripture:

  Not one bone of his will be broken;

and again, in another place scripture says:

  They will look on the one whom they have pierced.

After this, Joseph of Arimathaea, who was a disciple of Jesus – though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews – asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away. Nicodemus came as well – the same one who had first come to Jesus at night-time – and he brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish Day of Preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.

______________________________________

 

 

Intercessions

Petition… In Your Mercy All: Lord hear our prayer.

STATIONS OF THE CROSS

 

Leader: In the name of Abba God our Creator, and of Jesus our Liberator and the Spirit who is Holy. Amen.

All (BOW OR GENUFLECT): We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


 

  1. 1: Jesus is Condemned to Die

Jesus was captured at night, taken away by soldiers, stripped of his garments, interrogated, tortured, crowned with sharp thorns and now handed over to be condemned to death by Pontius Pilate – death on a cross.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Jesus, what a terrible injustice to see you condemned to death. Your own people, the Roman judges and the soldiers didn’t recognize that you were the Son of God. Give us the grace to see, respect and love you in all people, both innocent and guilty. Change our hearts that we may see with new eyes those we might otherwise condemn.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

B 2: Jesus Takes Up His Cross

 

Jesus was led away carrying the cross by himself. A cross is not just a piece of wood, it is everything that makes life difficult. Jesus carried the crosses of his life without complaint, as a poor person and as an itinerant prophet. In the calm and courageous way, he put up with the threats of the Pharisees and the lack of understanding of his own disciples. In the way that he carried all the burdens of his life but, in particular, the way in which he carries this awful, final burden, he transforms the cross from a symbol of condemnation into one of liberation.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: May we see your presence, Lord, in all the burdens we carry today. Help us to share our burdens more freely, not to be afraid to acknowledge our fears and our pain. May we be more aware of the crosses that others bear and make time to alleviate their burden. May your face shine on each one of us through the crosses we bear.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

C 3: Jesus Falls for the First Time (Genuflect/Moment of Silence)

 

Jesus falls. Here Jesus shows us that being heroic does not mean staying on one’s feet at all costs. Being heroic means getting up again after falling and starting off on the road chosen. Human beings will never resign themselves to stay flat on the ground. Like Jesus, they will get up again, pick up their crosses and keep on searching for a promised land of total liberation.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Jesus, it’s easy to see your image in saints. Help us to see you in the sinners too. You had a place in your heart for the divorced Samaritan woman, Zacchaeus, the good thief, and for those who crucified you. Give us this same compassionate heart.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

D 4: Jesus Meets his Mother

 

When Jesus and his mother meet they just look at each other – words cannot express how they feel. What he saw in his mother’s eyes must have hurt him more than the raw pain of his wounds. This for Jesus is the most painful time of all. This is his bereavement.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Jesus, we remember the gaze that rested between you and your mother. In that moment of pain there was also a moment of deep and enduring love. Jesus, give us the courage to bring that love into the deepest recesses of our homes, to our children and to our spouses, to those places of fracture and disharmony in our circle of relationships.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

A 5: Simon Helps Jesus

 

Simon the Cyrene, a stranger in the city, did not know Jesus. But that did not matter. What matters here is that in this moment of need Simon was capable of lending his shoulders to one whose own had given out, of offering his strength to one who had nothing left, of taking on himself the cross, which Jesus could no longer carry.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Lord, help us to grasp our opportunities to be a Simon in our world. In those times when we can help, let us have the generosity to do so. May we continue the spirit of Simon through our support of agencies and individuals who work to alleviate suffering in our world. Lord, may we have the humility to accept all the Simons along our road who reach out to help us in our moments of need.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

B 6: Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

 

Veronica was so moved by the sight of Jesus suffering that she courageously moved out from the crowd to wipe the blood and sweat from his face with a towel. She was rewarded when the image of his face was transferred to the towel. It is a suffering face, disfigured with wounds. Yet this is the only image of himself that Jesus chose to leave with us.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Jesus, give your wounded Church the courage of Veronica so that we may wash the face of Christ clean from the disfigurements of our sin. Help us to bring healing to the scars that hide the beauty of your face to our world. Give us the faith to continue to build your Church as a visible sign of your love and compassion.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

C 7: Jesus Falls for the Second Time (Genuflect/A moment of silence)

 

Stretched to breaking point by his awful scourging, bowed under the weight of the cross, worn out by the abandonment of all his friends, Jesus stumbles again.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Jesus, from deep within yourself, you found the courage and strength to get up once again and continue the journey. Give us your strength to keep going even when hope is dim.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

D 8: Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

 

The women of Jerusalem wept when they saw how Jesus suffered. Jesus recognised their distress, he broke his silence for the first time, spoke to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem do not weep for me. Weep for yourselves and for your children’.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Lord, open our hearts to the suffering of all people in our world. Give us the generosity of spirit to help us recognize their pain, the courage to challenge the systems that place intolerable burdens on them and the compassion to support them.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

.


 

A 9: Jesus Falls for a Third Time (Genuflect/Moment of Silence)

 

Jesus falls for a third time, broken and exhausted physically and emotionally. Lying on the ground, Jesus must decide – does he get up once more or does he just stop and give up? We see him rise again, and with all his power he continues on his journey. Jesus shows us that we can go on, even if nobody else thinks that it is possible.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Lord, Let us pray that when our strength fails, when our hope fades and when our spirit grows weary that we will put our unbounded trust in you. In turn may we bring your love, in a word or action of comfort to another, in their moment of meaningless, depression or despair.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

B 10: Jesus is Stripped of His Clothing

 

As the clothes were ripped from Jesus, he was stripped of his dignity in front of an irreverent mob. Jesus sacrifices everything. He holds nothing of himself back. Here, on the threshold of death, even more intensely than during his lifetime, he is a being-for-others. He surrenders everything in order to ransom all.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Forgive us Lord for being an irreverent mob prying into people’s lives. Forgive us for being consumers of gossip under the name of ‘news’. Let us never expose anyone. May we respect the dignity of others and leave judgement to God. Let us see the good in those around us and so enable them to reach their full potential.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

C 11: Jesus is Nailed to The Cross

 

Huge iron nails are hammered Cross of Jesus: through his wrists and through his ankles. Iron through human flesh, the flesh must yield, there is no defence. Jesus, nailed to the cross, cannot move. The hand that has wiped blindness from the eyes; the hand that opened the seal of deafness, the hand that touched a heart and cured a leper, the hand that blessed children and those with a disability; the carpenter’s hand is joined to the wood again. As the cross is put in place, he hangs there between us and God, a blood stained victim for love.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Jesus, Let us pray on behalf of those who cannot reach out to you at this moment. Let us pray for all victims of violence; those who suffer it and those who inflict it. Let us pray especially for children, for the elderly and those too vulnerable to defend themselves. May victims of cruelty and oppression know that you are always with them.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

Bishop Cait     VENERATION OF THE CROSS

(these final stations have invited us to consider the infinite love of Jesus the Christ, willing to suffer and die to bring us the Good News of God's Love despite those who tried to silence Him )

Bishop Cait:   Behold the Man!

Bishop Cait     EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

(take a few quiet moments to consider our failures to love, generally and in particular situations).

 


 


 

 

 

 

D 12: Jesus Dies on The Cross (Genuflect/Moment of Silence)

 

As the life of Jesus ebbs away his words are not of condemnation or of pity for himself, but of forgiveness; ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do’. In the midst of his anguish and suffering Jesus calls upon his Father to forgive those who are putting him to death. This is the real challenge of the cross, forgiveness even of those who hurt us most.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Let us stand with those who watched and prayed in silence while Jesus breathed his last. As we cannot measure love, so we cannot dilute this ultimate act of love and forgiveness with words. Let our love span the silence. Lord! Let our love and forgiveness speak your praise.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

A 13: Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

 

Now Mary takes the broken body of her Son in her arms. In her grief, she remembers the words of her son, over the bread, ‘this is my body, broken, for you,’ and over the wine, ‘this is my blood poured out for you.’ She remembers that little baby in Bethlehem worshipped by shepherds and kings. She remembers the days when the crowds followed him and she is full of sorrow.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Help us Lord to accept the partings that must come. Help us to offer our loved ones back to you as Mary offered her son. Faced with the silence of death, let us not despair but find hope. May the finality of death not oppress us. Help us to trust in you, the Lord of the living and the dead.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

B 14: Jesus is Laid in The Tomb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That night his body lay in the dark earth of the world, a seed dying, in the winter of all spirits. All those who had loved him felt emptied and exhausted. There seemed no longer any sense or purpose in anything. But at least no more harm could come to him. They closed the tomb and left.

 

All: (BOW OR GENUFLECT) We adore you O Christ, and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Let us pray: Jesus, each day you put before us life or death. Help us always to choose life. Let us pray for all those we have known who have died, and for those who have no one to pray for them. We ask for the gift of faith when we are faced with the darkness of the tomb and our own death approaches. May we have eyes to see the promise of new life that the darkness can hold.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


 

Bishop Cait 15: Jesus is Raised from The Dead.

 

‘A large stone had been rolled across the entrance of the tomb and seals put on the stone.’ (Mt 27:6)

 

All: He is not dead!

 

Where does resurrection begin? It begins with the empty tomb, with the women who come and go again, puzzled, perplexed, in wonder at the angel’s message. It continues with the men who race eagerly to the tomb to see for themselves. Jesus is not dead. He offers peace to the fearful disciples in the upper room, and to those who are living through war and poverty and insecurity, and grief.   Indeed, He breaks the bread at the table in Emmaus and with us here and now, giving us the assurance we live in eternal life!

 

All: He is Risen!

 

All our crosses, all our pain, all our sin, are healed, forgiven and transformed. Christ is risen! Although his risen body bears the marks of his suffering, his pain is gone. Mourning turns into dancing, grief turns into joy, despair turns to hope and fear turns to love. Hesitantly at first someone is saying, ‘He is risen, he is risen…’ ‘Tell Peter, James and John that I go before them into Galilee’. The eternal dance of new life goes on and on and on……

 

All: He will come again!

 

Lord give us eyes to see that a new creation is begun, a new earth and a new heaven are proclaimed and a new beginning for humanity is announced in your Son’s resurrection. May this new beginning begin in me and in each one of us.  Help us recognize YOU when You come to us in each day and encounter.

 

All: (BOW) Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

 

 

Reception of Holy Communion

from Reserved Consecrated Communion

 

Bishop Cait: Christ, we thank You for coming to us as the Bread of Life.

 

All: Amen. (Sign off in silence.)


 

Crucifixion.jpg
images.jpg
Jesus Laid in Tomb.jpg