The following is a Holy Week Devotional Guide organized by Hillary Ann Golden via asacredjourney.net. The opening prayers for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are taken from prayers previously posted on this blog. May God continue to bless you through this Holy Week as we prepare to praise the Risen Christ! You can download this free devotional guide here.
Christine Sine blogs here where you can find other wonderful liturgical resources. God who created us Suffers because of us god who died upon the Cross suffers for us God who dwells within us Suffers with us And in God’s suffering we find hope God, our suffering God Your story brings us salvation Without you the horrors of human suffering Would be unbearable Your story of life, death and resurrection gives life meaning Because of your suffering a new world has broken into ours Your suffering frees us from prison Your suffering fills the hungry with good things your suffering frees us to live in love, joy and peace In your eternal resurrection world
Another wonderful prayer by Christine Sine. You can view her blog here. Jesus you took bread and broke it, You shared it with your friends. As you were broken to feed us with the bread of life. Jesus you took wine and poured it out, Grapes crushed and drained of life. As you were crushed and drained of your life blood. Jesus you prayed fervently in agony of spirit, That God’s cup of suffering might pass away. Your sweat fell like drops of blood yet you endured the pain. You hung upon a tree and were crucified for us, But looked in compassion on your murderers. Look too in compassion on we who caused your suffering and your death. Jesus you died for us and fell as a seed into the ground, Knowing that your death would produce a plentiful harvest of new life. May we too be willing to die to ourselves that others may find true and eternal life.
I found the following poem at http://www.bruceprewer.com/DocB/BGOODFRIDAY.htm. AT GOLGOTHA
Today I dared to step much closer to the man on Skull Hill than ever before.
I elbowed past the curious crowd, beyond the high priest’s mob, and stood near Mary and John.
The soldiers leered at me and one said: “Take a good look mate, it may be you tomorrow.”
Determined I went and stood about five paces from that central cross and looked up.
Hideous scene; smell of blood, sweat and urine. I wanted to throw up; the soldiers chuckled.
Then I braced myself and took a long searching look at the crucified son of Mary in his agony.
O his eyes! They turned this way and that wildly searching for something that never came.
An undertaker once told me that employees who take too much notice don’t last long at the job.
Here things are different; today I took a lot of notice and saw the eyes of God searching for God.
I’ll love him forever; by the sheer grace of this Lord who was forsaken that we might never be so. A Poem by B D Prewer 2002
The following prayer is by Thom Shuman. On this day, God of all tears, you call us in the midst of our busy lives to look at the suffering and death of the One who came to carry the pain of the world into your heart. Give us eyes to see your love this day.
On this day you would gather everyone to your side, Grace of Calvary, but we leave you to carry the cross alone. You came simply as love incarnate, but hate and bitterness were the gifts we offered to you. You poured out your love so our emptiness might be filled. Give us ears to her your pain this day.
On this day, you would pray for us, for we cannot find the words on our own, Shattered Spirit. Hear the cries of those in need. Listen to the lament of the lonely. Cradle the whispered hopes of children. Set free the dreams of prisoners and captives. Give us hearts to pray with you this day.
God in Community, Holy in One, we lift our prayers to you in the name of the One who suffered and died for us this day and who teaches us to pray, saying, Our Father . . .
Submitted by Rev. Thom Shuman, author of Lectionary Liturgies.
The following Good Friday prayer is by MaryAnn McKibben Dana. O Holy God, the hosannas have died away, the palm branches have turned brittle.
Now, today, there is only this – each of us, all of us, sitting in the darkness, the hymns of lament in the air, the mumblings of our own feeble confession, on this Friday which we tremble to call Good.
What is good about Good Friday?
What is good about the innocent one nailed to a cross? What is good about the darkness of war that persists today? What is good about our devastation of the planet? … about people living in poverty? … about the fog of addiction, depression, disease and despair? What is good about the crushing weight of hunger, racism, scapegoating, apathy?
No, there is nothing good and desirable in these things.
Yet you, O God, are Good.
When suffering reigns, yours is the first heart to break.
When despair lurks about, we remember that you were there first, peering into the abyss and crying out, incredibly: “Father, forgive them.”
When we feel forsaken, we remember that in your last moments, you cared for your mother and your beloved disciple, binding them to one another as a new family.
When we feel overcome by guilt, we remember that you spoke grace to a thief: “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
Your love for us is just that boundless, and ever-present, and Good.
Thank you. What else can we say here, in the dimness, in the darkness, but thank you.
MaryAnn McKibben Dana is pastor of Idylwood Presbyterian Church in Falls Church, VA.
On this dark night, as the shadows deepen,We come to be present with Jesus. With the glory of Palm Sunday behind us and the victory of Easter not yet come, We will sit together in this space with our breaking, our broken hearts. In this world that is at once beautiful and holy and tragic, We seek to be present with all who suffer. In the dark valleys of life, when sorrow threatens to overwhelm, We long for a safe and sacred space to sit with our grief and our questions. Jesus Christ, holy friend, we know that you are here with us. Let us be here with you. Amen.
Submitted by Joanna Harader via SpaciousFaith.com.
God of the cross,For us, sinners though we are, you were nailed to a cross. For us, you took a final breath, and walked willingly into the darkness. For us, you were broken. For us, you lived. For us, you died.
You do not deserve this death. We do not deserve your life.
God of grace, Give our hearts courage to accept your grace and to respond to the life that was given for all. Guide us through the darkness ahead that we might be renewed by the light that is to come. It the name of the Blessed One who was taken and broken, we pray. Amen.
From the United Church of Christ. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far away? I cry out to you by day, but you do not answer; and at night, I find no rest. I am scorned and despised, all who see me mock me and shake their heads. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Our ancestors trusted in you, cried out to you, and you delivered them. They enthroned you with praise. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Yet you took me from the womb, and from my birth you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near. My troubles surround me like lions ready to pounce. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? I am poured out like water, and all my bones are dust; my heart is like wax, melting inside; my tongue is dry and I cannot speak; my limbs are nothing, and my ribs are bare. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? My enemies encircle me; they stare and gloat; they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? But you, O Savior, do not be far away! O my Help, come quickly to deliver me!
From Feasting on the Word - Worship Companion, edited by Kimberly Bracken Long. Christ Jesus was despised and rejected. We thought nothing of him. He was oppressed and afflicted. We hid our faces from him. He bore our sickness and sin. We believed God was punishing him. We, like sheep, have gone astray. Yet he, like a lamb, was led to the slaughter. [silent confession] Lamb of God, have mercy on us. Lamb of God, grant us peace. Amen.