April 9, 2020

A Service for GOOD FRIDAY

A Service for GOOD FRIDAY

Hymn, to be said or sung

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of Glory died
my richest gain I count but loss
and pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it Lord, that I should boast,
save in the death of Christ, my God;
all the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
sorrow and love flow mingling down;
did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were an offering far too small,
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

Psalm 22 verses 1 – 5, 8 – 11

My God, my God why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.
Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel, In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them,
To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

Yet it was you who took me from the womb;
you kept me safe on my mother’s breast. On you I was cast from my birth,
and since my mother bore me you have been my God.
Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no-one to help.

The Holy Gospel is taken from St John chapter 19

Glory to you O Lord

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. And the soldiers wove a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and they dressed him in a purple robe. They kept coming up to him, saying, “Hail King of the Jews!” and striking him on the face. Pilate went out again and said to them, “Look I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no case against him”. So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” When the chief priests and the police saw him, they shouted, “Crucify him! Crucify him”. Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him; I find no case against him”. “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has claimed to be the Son of God”.

Now when Pilate heard this, he was more afraid than ever. He entered his head-quarters again and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Pilate therefore said to him, “Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you, and power to crucify you?” Jesus answered him, You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above” From then on Pilate tried to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are no friend of the emperor. Everyone who claims to be a king sets himself against the emperor”.

When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside and sat on the judge’s bench at a place called the Stone Pavement or in Hebrew Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation for the Passover; and it was about noon. He said to the Jews, “Here is your King!”. They cried out, “Away with him!. Away with him! Crucify him!. Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but the emperor” Then he handed him over to them to be crucified.

So they took Jesus; and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha. There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them. Pilate had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.

This is the Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you O Christ

 Address

At the 1975 gathering of the World Council of Churches, a sculpture called The Tortured Christ by a Brazilian artist Guido Rocha himself the victim of torture, was displayed in the entrance hall where delegates met for their discussion. It proved to be so horrific and disturbing that they asked for the sculpture to be removed. The conference was intended to highlight torture in the world, but the image of such suffering was hidden away.  Some pain is so unbearable, some faces so marred, that we turn our faces away.

But God does not turn his face away. He enters into our suffering with such compassionate attention that his own face becomes the face of the tortured. All of us are suffering from the isolation we are under and I am sure that we are all missing our friends and family, the ones who make life worth living. The reality of suffering is across our country and across the world. The daily death toll makes us want to turn away in shock at what is happening. But God does not turn away. He knows the suffering of the world and importantly He knows our hearts. He is with us throughout this time, He is present to comfort us. We may flinch and draw back from what is happening but no suffering or pain is hidden from God, He came in Jesus Christ to bear the grief we cannot bear and carry the sorrows of those who the world ignores. We give thanks today for the One who made this Friday Good.

Amen

Prayers

Almighty God, we thank you for your great love towards us and the world we live in, love revealed in our Lord Jesus Christ. We thank you that by His death He has destroyed death and taken away the fear in our hearts. We pray that sharing in the suffering of our Lord today, we may come to know His power to raise us up and to be our strong deliverer.
Lord we come before you

Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer

Lord, we pray for the Church worldwide and in our parishes. Lord we thank you for those who have encouraged us to be silent before you. We pray in our silence you will refresh us and in the stillness of our minds, you will renew our hope and strength. We pray in the quiet of our hearts, you will restore us to yourself that we may stay close to you.

Lord we come before you,
Lord in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Heavenly Father, we give thanks for all those who are working with skill and perseverance to care for those who are in hospital, in care homes or those with symptoms of the corona virus at home. We thank you for those who provide the supplies of food in our supermarkets, for drivers and shelf fillers, for those who are on the front line with customers. We thank you for all in the police force who are trying to help people to stay at home in these lovely sunny days. We thank you for all those who keep in touch with us by telephone and help us to get through the days.

Lord we come before you,
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray that through your cross and passion we may come to know the power of your resurrection. We remember before you all suffering people, here and across the world, all who are struggling and despairing at this time, all who are facing darkness and death. Lord we lean on your presence and saving power, and the comfort of your love. We pray for those who have died and for those who mourn.

Lord we come before you,
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer

The Blessing

Abide in the love of the Father who upholds you
Abide in the peace of the Son who enfolds you,
Abide in the power of the Spirit who sustains you
And the Blessing of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit be with you always.

AMEN

 

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