Good Friday 30th March 2018

The following are repeats of the reflections about the worship on Good Friday. The sermon from the Good Friday worship will appear later.

The central worship on Good Friday in our tradition
are the 3 hours between Noon and 3pm when we remember the time
that Jesus was nailed to, hung and died on the cross.
The church is always open from noon
for both silent prayer and the liturgies of the day.
Between each act of worship the church is kept silent.
There are Stations of the Cross at 12.45p
The main Liturgy of the day is at 2pm,
remembering Jesus’ last hour on the cross and his death.
This liturgy includes a silent beginning, a reading of the Passion,
the Solemn Prayers, the veneration of the cross,
and the receiving of Holy Communion consecrated on Maundy Thursday.

At the beginning of the worship at 2pm on Good Friday
the priest lies prostrate in the sanctuary in silence
and then we sing a haunting piece of music:
Ours were the grief’s he bore, ours were the sins he carried,
Ours were the sins he took on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
This beginning to the service is an act of surrender to love.
What Jesus gave to the world by saying “Yes” to God,
and taking that long lonely journey to his death, was pure love.
He met humanities selfishness, cruelty and brutality head on,
confronted it with love, surrendered to it in love,
and took human life to a new level.
What other response can we make but one of complete surrender?

The Good Friday liturgy also includes the Solemn Prayers.
On this Holy Day, when Christ flooded the world with love,
we pray that this beautiful outpouring may flow to all parts of our world
and to all aspects of creation.
We stand at the foot of the cross on behalf of all God’s creation
and pray that such love may be known and experienced by all.
We pray for the world wide church, and people of all faiths;
for all world leaders and governments
and those who work for peace and justice;
for the natural world, the environment and our responsibility towards it;
for all who suffer sickness, are oppressed, deprived, or bereaved;
and for the grace to love a holy life in response to God’s love.
The Solemn Prayers are offered in words, silence and music.

Central to the Good Friday worship is the Veneration of the Cross.
The Cross bearing Jesus is carried slowly up the centre of the church.
Three times the priest stops, raises the cross, and says:
“Behold the wood of the cross on which our saviour dies”.
To which all respond: “Come let us worship.”
After the procession all are invited to come forward
and to offer veneration to the cross and to Christ.
Some simply come forward and bow, others will kiss the feet of Christ,
and others will simply touch the cross
to connect with the love that Jesus perfected in this selfless act.
It is a very moving part of the day that recognises and honours
everything that our Lord has done for us and given to us.
It is also symbolic of our commitment to make known God’s love
in our own lives and ministries as Christians.