For Good Friday 2018

Crucifix by Giotto
Crucifix by Giotto

Good Friday is one of those days when I take refuge in poetry or look at a crucifix and feel stupid and dull, unable to get my mind round the sacrifice Jesus made. Above all, I seek the bare, stark forms of the liturgy because everything else seems too small, often too ‘pious’, for the hugeness of what we celebrate.

The liturgy is objective in a way that forces us to consider the Crucifixion anew every year. Our understanding is stretched almost to breaking-point. The liturgy’s quiet dramas and haunting music, the return  to forms of worship familiar to the early Church, help us cope with the vastness of the story it tells and the inadequacy of our response. The death of Jesus on the Cross has changed everything. What can we possibly say after that?

The Preces of the Solemn Liturgy gather into a sequence of ten prayers our needs and the needs of the whole world. They articulate what we cannot. So, today, let us pray as the whole Church prays: for holy Church; for the Pope; for all orders and degrees of the faithful (i.e. bishops, priests, deacons and laypeople); for catechumens (i.e. those under instruction before becoming Christians); for the unity of Christians; for the Jewish people; for those who do not believe in Christ; for those who do not believe in God; for those in public office; for those in tribulation (i.e. asking God to cleanse the world of error, banish disease, drive out hunger, free the imprisoned, loosen fetters, grant safety to travellers and return to pilgrims, give health to the sick and grant salvation to the dying.) AMEN.

There are several earlier posts that treat other aspects of Good Friday. Please do a search in the sidebar if interested.


7 thoughts on “For Good Friday 2018”

  1. Thank you for giving me thoughts for today. I was exhausted yesterday evening, having led one Eurcharistic service of Communion by Extension and preaching (Clergy at Chrism Mass), Than yesterday evening actively participating in the Liturgy of Maundy Thursday, including preaching, foot washing and acting as Deacon for the service. I stripped the Altar alongside the Vicar and was privileged to wash my Vicar’s feet and she washed mine. I preached on Jesus Commandment for the Disciples to love one another and was gratified to be told that it was a powerful sermon. Todoay we have Stations of the Cross, the liturgy of Good Friday and a time of Vigil, prayer and scripture readings. Sometimes I feel profoundly sorrowful, that my sin caused Jesus’ death, but I know that this is alongside all sin, not only mine. Good Friday is a culmination and the Covered Cross on Holy Saturday, will remind us as we sit and wait just how we wait for Sunday. I am also preaching on Easter Day, and realise the privilege for me, preaching for the first time about the it. I pray that my words will be measured and appropriate and will do justice to the events. And scripture is so strong, there is ample material to work with, along with so may great writers who have preceded me.

  2. With thanks to all the good servants of God who have worked so hard to help us to experience this Easter Festival with true solemnity and humility. Amen. Alleluia.

  3. Thank you for this teaching and your spiritual direction. Yes, it is very real to feel numbness and dullness given the enormity of Holy Week and Easter. You have helped me understand that some of the mundanity and spiritual dryness that we all experience can be transformed into ways to draw closer to God.
    Thank you for inviting us to join you and the Community in prayer.

  4. I often find that your posts provoke a fairly long episode of pondering and self-examination in me, but usually only the first few minutes stick to the subject, then the train of thought moves on assorted paths, and frequently includes typing and then deleting a comment.
    Today’s side-path concerned trying to reconcile the “bare, stark form” of the Crucified Christ and the “often too pious” decoration of the cross in Giotto’s crucifix (as only one example). At even my advanced age, I am still far from certain about what I believe – or even what I think I believe.

    • I think we have to be not too dogmatic in sticking to what we think/ understand; and God protect us from piety; more a matter of surrender. And I do say this from a position of drawing on the truth of the Church‘s Tradition.

  5. God is love. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, told us to love one another as He had loved us. He asked us this even though He knew he was about to die. We can only imagine the pain and fear He experienced as He was led to Golgotha and was then nailed to the Cross. He must have had doubts right to the end. But He was resurrected. Our Father’s grand design to win goodness for humanity triumphed for eternity. We are are all saved by our Saviour’s sacrifice. We do not always realise that is so but it is.

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