Eastertide

HYMN


 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

All             Amen.


The light and peace of Jesus Christ be with you

All            and also with you.


The glory of the Lord has risen upon us.

All             Let us rejoice and sing God's praise for ever.


Alleluia. Christ is risen.

All            He is risen indeed. Alleluia.


PRAYER OF PREPARATION


All            Almighty God,

                to whom all hearts are open,

                all desires known,

                and from whom no secrets are hidden:

                cleanse the thoughts of our hearts

                by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,

                that we may perfectly love you,

                and worthily magnify your holy name;

                through Christ our Lord.

                Amen.


PRAYERS OF PENITENCE


Christ our passover lamb has been sacrificed for us.

Let us therefore rejoice by putting away all malice and evil and 

confessing our sins with a sincere and true heart.       


All           Almighty God, our heavenly Father,

                we have sinned against you

                and against our neighbour

                in thought and word and deed,

                through negligence, through weakness,

                through our own deliberate fault.

                We are truly sorry

                and repent of all our sins.

                For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ,

                who died for us,

                forgive us all that is past

                and grant that we may serve you 

                in newness of life

                to the glory of your name.

                Amen.


Almighty God,

who forgives all who truly repent,

have mercy upon you,

pardon and deliver you from all your sins,

confirm and strengthen you in all goodness,

and keep you in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

All            Amen.


SUNG GLORIA         Tune: Thine be the glory


Glory to God!

Our hearts to you we raise! 

Joy and peace on earth, 

in highest heaven praise! 

Songs of adoration, Lord, 

to you we bring,

Praising your great goodness, 

Father, heav'nly king.


Glory to God! Our hearts to you we raise! 

Joy and peace on earth, 

in highest heaven praise!


Son of the Father, 

bearing this world's sin, 

Lamb of God, have mercy, 

grant us peace within. 

You, O Christ, are holy, 

you alone are Lord, 

With the Holy Spirit, 

evermore adored.

THE COLLECT

Risen Christ,

you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:

strengthen us to proclaim your risen life

and fill us with your peace,

to the glory of God the Father.

All            Amen.

¶THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

A READING FROM THE BIBLE

1 John 3.1-7


See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.


Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

This is the word of the Lord.

All            Thanks be to God.

 

HYMN


 

GOSPEL READING 

Luke 24.36b-48

The Lord be with you

All             and also with you.

Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke 

All            Glory to you, O Lord.


While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence.


Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.


This is the Gospel of the Lord.

All            Praise to you, O Christ.

SERMON 


THE CREED

Do you believe and trust in God the Father,                                 

source of all being and life, the one for whom we exist?

All            We believe and trust in him.


Do you believe and trust in God the Son,

who took our human nature, died for us and rose again? 

All             We believe and trust in him.


Do you believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit,

who gives life to the people of God

and makes Christ known in the world?

All             We believe and trust in him. 


This is the faith of the Church.

All            This is our faith. 

                 We believe and trust in one God, 

                 Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
                 Amen.


PRAYERS OF INTERCESSION 


In Easter joy and hope, let us pray to the Father. 

                                                                                 At the end of each section, the following responses may be used. 

Lord, in your mercy

All            hear our prayer.

                                                                                                                                    The prayers conclude with the following:

Jesus, the resurrection and the life,

we give you thanks 

for all who have lived and believed in you. 

Raise us with them to eternal life.

Jesus, Lord of life,

All             accept these prayers

                  for the sake of your Son,

                  our Saviour Jesus Christ.

                  Amen.


¶THE LITURGY OF THE SACRAMENT


THE PEACE


The risen Christ came and stood among his disciples

and said, 'Peace be with you.’

Then were they glad when they saw the Lord. Alleluia.   


Alleluia. The peace of the Lord be always with you

All             and also with you. Alleluia. 


Let us offer one another a sign of peace.

 

HYMN


 

THE EUCHARISTIC PRAYER  


The Lord is here.     

All             his Spirit is with us.                    


Lift up your hearts.

All            We lift them to the Lord.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

All             It is right to give thanks and praise.

           

It is right to praise you, Father, Lord of all creation;

in your love you made us for yourself.

           

When we turned away you did not reject us,

but came to meet us in your Son.

All            You embraced us as your children

                  and welcomed us to sit and eat with you.

           

In Christ you shared our life

that we might live in him and he in us.

All            He opened his arms of love upon the cross

                  and made for all the perfect sacrifice for sin.

           

On the night he was betrayed,

at supper with his friends

he took bread, and gave you thanks;

he broke it and gave it to them, saying:

Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you;

do this in remembrance of me.

All            Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

                  his body is the bread of life.

           

At the end of supper, taking the cup of wine,

he gave you thanks, and said:

Drink this, all of you; 

this is my blood of the new covenant,

which is shed for you for the forgiveness of sins;

do this in remembrance of me.

All            Father, we do this in remembrance of him:

                  his blood is shed for all.

           

As we proclaim his death 

and celebrate his rising in glory,

send your Holy Spirit that this bread and this wine

may be to us the body and blood of your dear Son.         

All             As we eat and drink these holy gifts

                  make us one in Christ, our risen Lord.

           

With your whole Church throughout the world

we offer you this sacrifice of praise

and lift our voice to join the eternal song of heaven:

           

All            Holy, holy, holy Lord,

                  God of power and might,

                  Heaven and earth are full of your glory.

                  Hosanna in the highest.


THE LORD'S PRAYER


Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

           

All            Our Father, who art in heaven,

                  hallowed be thy name;

                  thy kingdom come; thy will be done;

                  on earth as it is in heaven.

                  Give us this day our daily bread.

                  And forgive us our trespasses,

                  as we forgive those who trespass against us.

                  And lead us not into temptation;

                  but deliver us from evil.

                  For thine is the kingdom,

                  the power and the glory,

                  ​for ever and ever. Amen.


BREAKING OF THE BREAD 


We break this bread to share in the body of Christ.

All            Though we are many, we are one body,

                  ​because we all share in one faith.


All             Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

                  have mercy on us.

                  Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

                  have mercy on us.

                  Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,

                  grant us peace.


INVITATION TO COMMUNION 


Alleluia. Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.

All            Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia.


RECEIVING COMMUNION

PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION


Living God,

your Son made himself known to his disciples

in the breaking of bread:

open the eyes of our faith,

that we may see him in all his redeeming work;

who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

All             Almighty God,

                  we thank you for feeding us

                  with the body and blood 

                  of your Son Jesus Christ.

                  Through him we offer you our souls and bodies

                  to be a living sacrifice.

                  Send us out in the power of your Spirit

                  to live and work to your praise and glory. Amen.



¶THE DISMISSAL


The Lord be with you

All             and also with you.


The God of peace,

who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great shepherd of the sheep,

through the blood of the eternal covenant,

make you perfect in every good work to do his will,

working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight;

and the blessing of God almighty,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be among you and remain with you always.

All             Amen.

 

HYMN


Go in the peace of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia.

All            Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

 

Good Friday

At the Tomb Tenebrae Service

‘Tenebrae’ means darkness or shadows. 


As we come to the end of Lent, we begin a journey into darkness, to a place of deep shadows.

Tonight, in this service of prayer, readings and music, we accompany Jesus in his last hours, we witness the cruelties and the suffering he endures, and we listen to the words of condemnation and ridicule.


In all this he is innocent. 

He is the faithful servant of God, doing his Father’s work; bringing the gospel of love, peace and hope.

And so, we are invited to solemnly and attentively wait at the tomb.


Better to know. Better to understand. 

Better to be his friend, his disciple, his witness.

Be still and know that God is here.

HYMN: MP 48


Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am God.

Be still and know that I am God. 


I am the Lord that healeth thee. 

I am the Lord that healeth thee. 

I am the Lord that healeth thee.


In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust. 

In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust. 

In Thee, O Lord, I put my trust.



The seven candles are lit.


Prayer:

Eternal God, in the cross of Jesus we see the cost of our sin and the depth of your love: may we place before you, all that we have and all that we are. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

All        Amen.


The First Reading - Mark 14: 17-26

Jesus eats the last supper with his disciples

When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.  He said to them, “This is my blood of the[g] covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”


When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.  And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


The first candle is extinguished in silence.


HYMN: A&M 434


An upper room did our Lord prepare 

for those he loved until the end :

and his disciples still gather there, 

to celebrate their risen friend.


A lasting gift Jesus gave his own — 

to share his bread, his loving cup.

Whatever burdens may bow us down, 

he by his cross shall lift us up.


And after supper he washed their feet, 

for service, too, is sacrament.

In him our joy shall be made complete — 

sent out to serve, as he was sent. 


No end there is: we depart in peace.   

He loves beyond our uttermost:

in every room in our Father's house 

he will be there, as Lord and host.



Prayer:


Father in heaven, on the night before he died,

your son shared the Passover meal with his friends,

giving them bread to nourish their spirits

and wine, poured out as his blood, for the forgiveness of their sins. We pray that we may turn to him for our strength, and for forgiveness.

Through Christ, our Lord.

All        Amen.

The Second Reading - Mark 14: 32-36, 43-50

Jesus is betrayed and arrested

They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”  He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.”  And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”


Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.”  So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit?  Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.”  All of them deserted him and fled.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


The second candle is extinguished.


Caiaphas and the Temple Guard by Graham Kendrick Sung by Mike Pennington

https://youtu.be/7xaQNO_yl7Q



Prayer:


Father in heaven,

your son, Jesus, prayed in the garden of Gethsemane,

seeking to understand what you were asking him to do.

Help us to pray, 

to persevere in discovering the thing you call us to do with our lives.

Give us the strength and courage to follow your calling

whatever the cost, 

when we feel alone or betrayed,

afraid or helpless.

Through Christ, our Lord.

All        Amen.



The Third Reading - Mark 15:1-15

Jesus appears before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor 

As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council.  They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.  Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’  He answered him, ‘It is you who say so.’  Then the chief priests accused him of many things.  Pilate asked him again, ‘Have you no answer?  See how many charges they bring against you.’  But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.  


Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked.  Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.  So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.  Then he answered them, ‘Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’  For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over.  


But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.  Pilate spoke to them again, ‘Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?’  They shouted back, ‘Crucify him!’  Pilate asked them, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’  But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify him!’  So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them and, after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


The third candle is extinguished.


HYMN: MP754 


Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there  when they crucified my Lord? 

        Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

        Were you there  when they crucified my Lord?


Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

Were you there when they nailed Him to the tree?

        Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

        Were you there  when they nailed Him to the tree?


Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb? 

Were you there when they laid Him in the tomb?

        Oh! Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble;

        Were you there  when they laid Him in the tomb?



Prayer:


Father in heaven,

when we feel the whole world against us,

accounting us of little worth,

give us your Spirit 

that we may speak the truth

and stay firm in our calling to be like Jesus,

whatever the cost.

Through Christ our Lord.

All        Amen.



The Fourth Reading - Mark 15:16-32

Jesus is crucified

Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace and they called together the whole cohort.  And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.  And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"  They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.  After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him.  Then they led him out to crucify him.  


They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.  Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).  And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.  And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.  It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.  The inscription of the charge against him read, ‘The King of the Jews.’  And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.  Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!"  


In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.  Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe."  Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


The fourth candle is extinguished.

HYMN: A&M 517

To mock your reign, O dearest Lord, 

they made a crown of thorns; 

set you with taunts along that road 

from which no man returns.

They could not know, as we do now, 

how glorious is that crown: 

that thorns would flower upon your brow, 

your sorrows heal our own.


In mock acclaim, O gracious Lord,  

they snatched a purple cloak,  

your passion turned, for all they cared,  

into a soldier's joke. 

They could not know, as we do now, 

that, though we merit blame, 

you will your robe of mercy throw 

around our naked shame.


A sceptred reed, O patient Lord,   

they thrust into your hand,  

and acted out their grim charade 

to its appointed end. 

They could not know, as we do now, 

though empires rise and fall,  

your kingdom shall not cease to grow

till love embraces all.


Prayer:


Father in heaven, we so often stand by, 

as others are mocked or belittled,

as cruelty and injustice are allowed free reign,

afraid to speak, afraid to act, silent and guilty.

Give us strength to speak out,

and to witness always to the right,

and to the truth.

Through Christ, our Lord.

All        Amen.



The Fifth Reading - Mark 15: 34-39

Jesus dies on the cross

At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 


Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.  And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he[j] breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


The fifth candle is extinguished.


Music: Jesus sung by Mike Pennington 


https://youtu.be/LjB5fnGV8so



Prayer:


Father in heaven, when we cannot find you, and are not sure that you are there, give us faith.

Let us understand that you are always faithful,

always present, holding us and sustaining us,

even in the darkest moments when all seems hopeless and lost, and death surrounds us.

Through Christ our Lord.

All        Amen.



The Sixth Reading - Isaiah 52:13 – 53:5

He was despised and we took no account of him


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 punishment that brings us peace, and through his wounds we are healed.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


The sixth candle is extinguished.


Piano 

Prayer:


Father in heaven, today we look on Jesus your son,

stripped and humiliated, betrayed and led out to be nailed to a tree.

Yet this man takes upon himself our sins,

our faults, our failings, and gives us new life

in his resurrection. He is charity and love, and where charity and love are, God is there.

Through Christ, our Lord.

All        Amen.


The Seventh Reading - Mark 15: 42-47

Jesus is laid in the tomb


When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 


When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.  Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.

This is the word of the Lord

All        Thanks be to God


The seventh candle, representing Jesus Christ, Light of the world, is hidden as Jesus’ body was hidden in the shadows of the tomb.



We depart in silence.

 

Good Friday

Lord Jesus, we are gathered in worship;

Remind us of the the lowly manger,

the lonely cross and the empty tomb. 

For these are powerful symbols of life

offered to establish a new creation,

where weeping and crying will be no more,

where evil powers no longer reign supreme.

Create for us and in us, O Lord, this kind of life.

All       Amen.

 

The central message of the earliest community of believers was... "Christ nailed to the cross".               1 Corinthians 1.23; 2.2 


The cross was the heart of the gospel and many in the history of the church were to experience crucifixion and other types of persecution . . .  Many have come to experience and know the cross through their experiences. Can it be a surprise that the cross was at the heart of the gospel? 

Can it be a surprise that it is the poor, those who suffer and those who are marginalised, who have welcomed in a deeper way the word of the cross? Many have come to know the cross in their situation of misery. 

We have come to see the cross of Jesus Christ as the cross of our salvation, the cross that gives us strength 

and thus we carry within ourselves the hidden Christ.

 

‘I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who Live, but it is Christ who lives in me;'                                                                                                                                                                                                               Galatians 2.19b—20

Almighty God, who in the passion of your blessed Son,  

made an instrument of shameful death  

to be for us the means of life: 

grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ 

that we may gladly suffer for his sake; 

who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,  

one God, now and for ever. 

All       Amen.                                                                                                                                            Collect for Holy Cross Day

 

'Because he [Christ] himself was tested by what he suffered, 

he is able to help those who are being tested'

                                                                                                      Hebrews 2.18

The cross is the way of the lost.

The cross is the staff of the lame. 

The cross is the guide of the blind. 

The cross is the strength of the weak.

The cross is the hope of the hopeless. 

The cross is the freedom of the slaves.

The cross is the water of the seeds. 

The cross is the consolation of the bonded labourers.

The cross is the source of those who seek water.   

The cross is the cloth of the naked.


                                   The Cross from a Tenth-Century African Hymn

 

The Stations of the Cross 

Come, let us walk with Jesus 

All       along the path of sorrow through the City of David.

Behold, he is walking towards Calvary 

All       bent under the weight of the rugged cross.

He stumbles, falls, rises and stumbles,

All       from Station to Station, bleeding yet blessing.

Lo, Jesus walks to his death for us 

All       as we stand by and jeer at him.

Shall we help carry the cross? 

All       Shall we be like Simon of Cyrene?

Come, let us walk the walk of Jesus

All       as he walks to his death to bring us life.

 

'Christ reconciles us all to God in one body through the cross.' 

                                                                                                  Ephesians 2.16

We lift high the cross,

All       On which Jesus made himself low.

We glorify the cross,      

All       On which Jesus embraced shame.

We venerate the cross, 

All       On which Jesus hung as a criminal.

We praise the cross,

All       On which Jesus died for our sins. 

Behold the cross of Jesus,

All       Which reconciles the children of Adam.

We carry the cross, 

All       The source of peace and eternal life. Amen.

 

 Almighty God, 

who in the passion of your blessed Son,

made an instrument of shameful death,

to be for us the means of life; 

grant us so to glory in the Cross of Christ 

that we may gladly suffer for his sake,  

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 

one God now and for ever. 

All       Amen.

 

The place of the cross, whether in personal devotions or organised worship, is unique. Unlike anything else liturgically, it reminds us of a concrete event in our salvation history. The cross is three-dimensional so that it can be  approached from any vantage point. It can be touched, allowing one to make contact with the profound truth it symbolises, while its hard reality excludes any idea of the poetic or romantic. It can be held, giving a sense of intimate nearness to the loving God whom it proclaims. It can be raised up high so as to lift up one's faith in the risen Christ. It can be kissed, showing a person's deep love for the Incarnation, or knelt in front of in veneration for what it represents.


All these different facets are often used as ways of enabling us to explore, nurture, and share our faith so as to further the mission of God, missio Dei. Working with images of Christ has a similar purpose; but whereas pictures are one-dimensional, crosses are tactile and can evoke a deeper response. They also provide a more creative engagement through artistry, crafts, and liturgy. For some people a holding cross can evoke feelings of comfort, strength, peace and Hope.

 

'May I never boast of anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me,

and to the world'

                                                                                                    Galatians 6.14 


Were you there when they made the cross of Jesus?

All       Did you touch the cross on which our Saviour hung?

The cross stands tall on the hill of Calvary.

All       Yes, the cross that we witness throughout the world. 

Let us all gather around the cross of Jesus

All       and view it from many angles and sides. 

Let us meditate on the cross of Jesus 

All       in the shape that is dearest to our hearts. 

One cross, one Saviour, one salvation 

All       in the diversity of our prayers to the Lord. Amen.

 

The cross represents our Faith. 

Give up harsh words:         

All       use generous ones.

Give up unhappiness:     

All       take up gratitude.

Give up anger:      

All       take up gentleness and patience.

Give up pessimism: 

All       take up hope and optimism. 

Give up worrying: 

All       take up trust in God. 

Give up complaining: 

All       value what you have.

Give up stress: 

All       take up prayer. 

Give up judging others: 

All       discover Jesus within them.

Give up sorrow and bitterness: 

All       fill your heart with joy.

Give up selfishness: 

All       take up compassion for others.

Give up being unforgiving: 

All       learn reconciliation.

Give up words: 

All       fill yourself with silence, and listen to others.

                                                                                                                                        A Special Lenten Fast from South America 


Give us, O Lord, churches, 

that will be more courageous than cautious;

that will not merely ‘comfort the afflicted’ but ‘afflict the comfortable’;

that will not only love the world but will also judge the world;

that will not only pursue peace but also demand justice;  

that will not remain silent when people are calling for a voice; 

that will not pass by on the other side when wounded humanity is  waiting to be healed;  

that will follow Christ even when the way points to the cross. 

To this end we offer ourselves in the name of him who loved us and gave himself for us.

All       Amen.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Author unknown

 

'Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,  who gave himself for our sins to set us free from the present evil age, the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory for ever and ever.’

                                                                                                  Galatians 1:3-5 

Rejoice in the cross on which Christ died, 

All       So that we may inherit eternal life.

Glory to the cross of Jesus which won us forgiveness,

All       So that we may forgive one another.

Hail the cross of Jesus which brought us love, 

All       So that we may love one another.

 Amen to the cross of Jesus which gave us peace,

All       So that we may love one another.

Uphold the cross of Jesus where we found justice, 

All       So that we may spread justice around the world.

Let us embrace the cross on which Jesus suffered,

All       So that we may suffer for his Kingdom. Amen

       

 

 May God the Father who made us bless us.

May God the Son send his healing among us. 

May God the Holy Spirit move within us 

and give us eyes to see with, ears to hear with,  

and hands that your work might be done. 

May we walk and preach the word of God to all. 

May the angel of peace watch over us 

and lead us at last by God's grace to the Kingdom. 

All       Amen.                                                                                                                                                       Prayer of St Dominic

 

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