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Good Friday Liturgy
INTRODUCTION (Philippians 2. 5-11)
Though Christ was by nature divine,
Christ did not cling to equality with God,
but in utter self-emptying, took the form of a slave,
and was born as a human.
God have mercy.
Appearing in human form,
he humbled himself,
and became obedient to death,
even death on a cross.
Christ have mercy.
Therefore God has highly exalted Christ,
with a name above all others,
that every knee should bend, and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ reigns supreme, to the glory of God the Giver of Life.
God have mercy, and grant us your peace.
Jesus, you carried our sins in your own body on the cross so that we might have life. God, look with mercy upon your beloved people, for whom Christ was willing to suffer. By your grace may we, and all who remember this day, find forgiveness, liberation from our sin, and new life in you, that we may walk in your ways, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to your eternal glory. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT (Isaiah 52.13 – 53.12)
My servant, you shall prosper;
you shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.
Just as there were many who were astonished at you—
so marred was your appearance, beyond human semblance,
and your form beyond that of mortals—
so you shall startle many nations;
rulers shall shut their mouths because of you;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.
Who would have believed what you have just heard?
And to whom has the arm of the Holy One been revealed?
For you grew up before God like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
you had no form or majesty to impress us,
nothing in your appearance that we should desire you.
You were despised and rejected;
one who knew suffering and was familiar with pain;
people despised you and looked away,
and considered you worthless.
Surely you have borne our weakness and carried our diseases.
We thought you were being stricken by God,
punished and humiliated—
but you suffered because of our sins,
and were wounded by the evil we have done.
You were punished, and yet we are made whole;
for in your suffering we find healing.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have all turned to our own way;
in you God has exposed our violence.
SILENT PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
You were oppressed, and afflicted,
yet you did not open your mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so you did not open your mouth.
By a perversion of justice you were taken away.
Who could have imagined your future?
For you were cut off from the land of the living,
and suffered what was not yours to suffer.
They made your grave with the wicked
buried you with the rich,
although you had done no violence,
and had only spoken the truth.
Though you were crushed with pain, yet God believed in you,
and healed you, whom we made an offering for sin.
You shall see your offspring,
and shall prolong your days;
through you God’s will shall prosper.
Out of your anguish you shall see light;
and knowing the truth, you will find peace.
You, God’s righteous servant,
shall make many righteous,
and you shall bear their sins.
Therefore God will allot you a portion with the great,
and you shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because you poured yourself out to death,
and were numbered with the transgressors.
You bore the sin of many,
yet forgave the transgressors.
GOSPEL READING (from John 18.27-19.42)
PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
THE PRAYER OF JESUS (“Lord’s Prayer”)
MEDITATION ON THE SEVEN LAST WORDS
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
God of truth, we are not aware of our evil or conscious of how we hurt others. Awaken us, O God, that we may be mindful of our sin. Open the eyes of our hearts, that we may see ourselves with loving clarity, as you see us—and repent. God, have mercy.
“Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Holy One, you promise us a realm of mercy and justice, yet we thwart it by our judgment and injustice. Heal us and all the world, that we may truly enter into the Empire of your love that you have prepared for us. God, have mercy.
“Woman, here is your son. Son, here is your mother.”
Christ our brother, you make us one family in your love. We pray for all our siblings and our kin the world over, for communities, and for mothers who must see their children suffer because of injustice. For the sin of our racism, our divisions and our fears. Forgive us and heal us. God, have mercy.
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Gentle God, you share our fear and loneliness. You are always present with us and for us. May the Passion of your beloved Son give us help in all our trials, and strength in our human weakness. We pray for all who are lonely, and all who feel unworthy. God, have mercy.
“I am thirsty.”
We pray for the poor and all who are hungry and thirsty in body or soul. We ourselves hunger for your presence and thirst for your grace. We pray for all who suffer, and for those who exercise power in the world. God, have mercy.
“It is finished.”
Eternal One, you have loved us so deeply, so dearly, so wholly. Christ has faithfully embodied your love among us; the light of your love has shone, even in the darkness. You have set us free from the fear of death, so that we may love courageously. May we, the church, the Body of Christ, embody your love and forgiveness, and radiate your light. God, have mercy.
“Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
O Holy, Indwelling One, may we live by your Spirit, the spirit of gentleness and peace, of compassion and healing. Put to death all that is evil in us, and grant that we may die with Christ, that you may raise us to new life. Into your hands we commit our spirit. God, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. God, have mercy.