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Daily Prayer Holy Week Podcast Worship

A Service for Good Friday

A quietly reflective service for Good Friday, 10 April; the second part of The Triduum

Today’s Daily Service is very different from the other services of Daily Prayer.

Traditionally we would be gathering in our churches where the altars would have been stripped. There would no lighting or heating as we shared in the desolation of Golgotha.

The service would have begun with a time of silent prayer.

Then we would have been sharing in the reciting of Psalm 22 which begins with words Jesus himself uttered from the cross.

The Passion narrative from John’s Gospel would be read.

The Solemn Prayers of Intercession would be said.

Then, we would all have the opportunity to share in the consecrated host from the Maundy Thursday service, when we remembered Jesus institution of the sacrament of Holy Communion.

All of this is contained within this service of Daily Prayer, except the distribution of communion.

The pace of today’s service is slower and should be used as a time of reflection as we share in these moving and momentous words.

Preparation

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

My trust is in you, O Lord.
I have said, ‘You are my God.’

Praise

Eternal God,
in the cross of Jesus
we see the cost of our sin
and the depth of your love:
in humble hope and fear
may we place at his feet
all that we have and all that we are,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Psalm 22

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer;
by night as well, but I find no rest.

Yet you are the Holy One,
enthroned upon the praises of Israel.
Our forebears put their trust in you;
they trusted and you delivered them.
They cried out to you and were delivered;
they trusted in you and were not put to shame.

But as for me, I am a worm and no man,
scorned by all and despised by the people.
All who see me laugh me to scorn;
they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,
‘He trusted in the Lord; let him deliver him;
let him rescue him, if he delights in him.’

Yet you are he who took me out of the womb,
and kept me safe upon my mother’s breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;
you were my God when I was still in my mother’s womb.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near,
and there is none to help.

Many young bulls encircle me;
strong bulls of Bashan surround me.
They open wide their jaws at me,
like a ravening and a roaring lion.

I am poured out like water; all my bones are out of joint;
my heart within my breast is melting wax.
My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd; 
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.

Packs of dogs close me in, and gangs of evildoers circle around me;
they pierce my hands and my feet; I can count all my bones.
They stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them;
they cast lots for my clothing.

Be not far away, O Lord;
you are my strength; hasten to help me.
Save me from the sword,
my life from the power of the dog.
Save me from the lion’s mouth,
my wretched body from the horns of wild bulls.

I will declare your name to my people;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.

Praise the Lord, you that fear him;
stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;
all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.

For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty;
neither does he hide his face from them;
but when they cry to him he hears them.

My praise is of him in the great assembly;
I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

The poor shall eat and be satisfied,
and those who seek the Lord shall praise him:
‘May your heart live for ever!’

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord,
and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.
For kingship belongs to the Lord;
he rules over the nations.

To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship;
all who go down to the dust fall before him.

My soul shall live for him; my descendants shall serve him;
they shall be known as the Lord’s for ever.
They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn
the saving deeds that he has done.

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now
and shall be for ever.  Amen.

Reading

After they had eaten the supper, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.

Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples.  So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.  Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’  They answered, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’  Jesus replied, ‘I am he.’  Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.  When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he,’ they stepped back and fell to the ground.

Again he asked them, ‘For whom are you looking?’  And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’  Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he.  So if you are looking for me, let these men go.’  This was to fulfil the word that he had spoken, ‘I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.’  Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear.  The slave’s name was Malchus.  Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword back into its sheath.  Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?’  So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him.

First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year.  Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.  Simon Peter and another disciple followed Jesus.  Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter was standing outside at the gate.  So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out, spoke to the woman who guarded the gate, and brought Peter in.  The woman said to Peter, ‘You are not also one of this man’s disciples, are you?’  He said, ‘I am not.’  Now the slaves and the police had made a charcoal fire because it was cold, and they were standing around it and warming themselves.  Peter also was standing with them and warming himself.  

Then the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching.  Jesus answered, ‘I have spoken openly to the world; I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all the Jews come together.  I have said nothing in secret.  Why do you ask me?  Ask those who heard what I said to them; they know what I said.’  When he had said this, one of the police standing nearby struck Jesus on the face, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’  Jesus answered, ‘If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong.  But if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?’  Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself.  They asked him, ‘You are not also one of his disciples, are you?’  He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’  One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?’  Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed.

Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters.  It was early in the morning.  They themselves did not enter the headquarters, so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover.  So Pilate went out to them and said, ‘What accusation do you bring against this man?’  They answered, ‘If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.’  Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.’  The Jews replied, ‘We are not permitted to put anyone to death.’  (This was to fulfil what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)

Then Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’  Jesus answered, ‘Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?’  Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew, am I?  Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me.  What have you done?’  Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world.  If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews.  But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’  Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’  Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king.  For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’  Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’  After he had said this, he went out to the Jewish leaders again and told them, ‘I find no case against him.  But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover.  Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?’  They shouted in reply, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’  Now Barabbas was a bandit.

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.’  The Jews answered 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 headquarters 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; therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.’  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 also had an inscription written and put on the cross.  It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’  Many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek.  Then the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, “The King of the Jews,” but, “This man said, I am King of the Jews.”’  Pilate answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’

When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier.  They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top.  So they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.’  This was to fulfil what the scripture says, ‘They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.’  And that is what the soldiers did.

Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’  And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’  A jar full of sour wine was standing there.  So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.  When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’  Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity.  So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed.  Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.  But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.  Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.  (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe.  His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)  These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, ‘None of his bones shall be broken.’  And again another passage of scripture says, ‘They will look on the one whom they have pierced.’  

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus.  Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body.  Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.  They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews.  Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid.  And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

John 18:1 – end of 19 (NRSV)

Prayers of Intercession

God sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Therefore we pray to our heavenly Father
for people everywhere according to their needs.

Let us pray for the Church of God throughout the world:
for unity in faith, in witness and in service,
for bishops and other ministers, and those whom they serve,
for David, Nicholas and Christopher, our bishops,
and the people of this diocese,
for all Christians in our benefice,
for those to be baptized,
for those who are mocked and persecuted for their faith,
that God will confirm his Church in faith,
increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Almighty and everlasting God,
by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church
is governed and sanctified:
hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,
that in their vocation and ministry
they may serve you in holiness and truth
to the glory of your name;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Let us pray for the nations of the world and their leaders:
for Elizabeth our Queen and the Parliaments of this land,
for those who administer the law and all who serve in public office,
for all who strive for justice and reconciliation,
that by God’s help the world may live in peace and freedom.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Most gracious God and Father,
in whose will is our peace,
turn our hearts and the hearts of all to yourself,
that by the power of your Spirit
the peace which is founded on justice
may be established throughout the world;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Let us pray for God’s ancient people, the Jews,
the first to hear his word:
for greater understanding between Christian and Jew,
for the removal of our blindness and bitterness of heart,
that God will grant us grace to be faithful to his covenant
and to grow in the love of his name.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Lord God of Abraham,
bless the children of your covenant, both Jew and Christian;
take from us all blindness and bitterness of heart,
and hasten the coming of your kingdom,
when the Gentiles shall be gathered in,
all Israel shall be saved,
and we shall dwell together in mutual love and peace
under the one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Let us pray for those who do not believe the gospel of Christ:
for those who have not heard the message of salvation,
for all who have lost faith,
for the contemptuous and scornful,
for those who are enemies of Christ
and persecute those who follow him,
for all who deny the faith of Christ crucified,
that God will open their hearts to the truth
and lead them to faith and obedience.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Merciful God,
creator of all the people of the earth,
have compassion on all who do not know you,
and by the preaching of your gospel with grace and power,
gather them into the one fold of the one Shepherd;
Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Let us pray for all those who suffer:
for those who are deprived and oppressed,
for all who are sick,
for those in darkness, in doubt and in despair, in loneliness and in fear,
for prisoners, captives and refugees,
for the victims of false accusations and violence,
for all at the point of death and those who watch beside them,
that God in his mercy will sustain them
with the knowledge of his love.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

Almighty and everlasting God,
the comfort of the sad, the strength of those who suffer:
hear the prayers of your children who cry out of any trouble,
and to every distressed soul grant mercy, relief and refreshment,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Let us commend ourselves and all God’s children to his unfailing love,
and pray for the grace of a holy life,
that, with all who have died in the peace of Christ,
we may come to the fullness of eternal life
and the joy of the resurrection.

Lord, hear us.
Lord, graciously hear us.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,
look favourably on your whole Church,
that wonderful and sacred mystery,
and by the tranquil operation of your perpetual providence
carry out the work of our salvation:
and let the whole world feel and see
that things which were cast down are being raised up
and things which had grown old are being made new
and that all things are returning to perfection
through him from whom they took their origin,
even Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

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.

Conclusion

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen.