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A SERVICE FOR GOOD FRIDAY

Good Friday, Year A
Cana Communities
South Sydney Uniting Church
April 18, 2014

The Gathering of the People of God

CALL TO WORSHIP

The Welcoming One overcomes our fears
not by eliminating obstacles,
obliterating suffering,
doing away with stupidity, cruelty and violence –
all the things that create and maintain our fearfulness –
but by entering fully into these experiences
and meeting us there.

SONG ‘So much wrong’ (vv. 1-2)

So much wrong and so much injustice,
so you shouldered a wooden cross.
Now, like you, my best dreams are shattered;
all I know is the weight of loss.

My beloved, my beloved,
tell me where can you be found?
You drank deep of the cup of suffering,
and your death is our holy ground.

Olive trees showed the pain of sorrow;
they were grieving for their Lord.
Round Jerusalem the hills were mourning
as the city denied its God.

My beloved, my beloved,
tell me where can you be found?
You drank deep of the cup of suffering,
and your death is our holy ground.

COLLECT

Lord, you are punctured,
no longer divided
between inside and out,
knowing in your flesh
the sharp violence that kills what it fears:
take us through the narrow door
from which an endless river flows
into a new body - wounded but unafraid;
through Jesus Christ, the passion of God.
Amen.

PENITENTIAL RITE

If the death of Jesus is all about forgiveness
it strikes at the heart of our all-too-human harbouring of resentment.
That preciousness that has been wounded, reviled, destroyed
need not produce a corresponding wounding, destruction, humiliation.
In fact, the truth that is revealed in the person of Jesus
is that it is by accepting, choosing the loss of our preciousness
in the countless deaths of forgiveness,
that new life can and will flourish.
Forgiveness is of the nature of God.
The story of Jesus that culminates in his death
is the revelation of that nature.
Death is a part of loving as it is a part of forgiving.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say,
death is at the heart of loving
as it is at the heart of forgiving.

Silence for personal confession.

ASSURANCE

The Liturgy of the Word

GOSPEL Matthew 26: 31-46

We share a significant word or phrase from the reading.

SONG 342: ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’

GOSPEL Matthew 26: 47-56

HOMILY (Anne)

Jesus, remember me
when you come into your kindom.

SOLEMN PRAYERS

We offer prayers for the Church,
for all who minister/care,
for those preparing for baptism,
for all who do not know God/Love/Forgiveness,
for all in positions of power,
for all who are sick or dying, homeless or in prison,
for all who suffer from hunger or violence.
...

God of power and love,
strength of the weary,
hope of the despairing,
hear the cries of your own
and give us the courage to be agents of your love.
We pray in the name of Christ our Saviour. Amen.

THE LORD’S PRAYER

Abba God in heaven,
glory to you!
Your rule of love renews the earth.
In your name, we take part in that renewal –
helping, and not harming,
caring, and not coercing ...
We pray that we might receive with thanks
the bread we need,
the money we need,
the warmth we need ...
We pray that forgiveness and freedom
flow through our lives.
Teach us that in sharing life
we live life to the full ...
Remind us that evil is real.
Still, we are not afraid of it,
but confident
that love is stronger than hate,
justice other than revenge,
true peace the work of your Spirit.

SONG 356: ‘Here hangs a man discarded’

GOSPEL Matthew 26: 57 – 27: 54

We share a significant word or phrase from the reading.

The Sending Forth of the People of God

SONG ‘So much wrong’ (vv. 3-4)

No fine song, no impressive music
can attempt to relieve my heart;
in this hour I am called to grieving,
lest no other will play this part.

My beloved, my beloved,
tell me where can you be found?
You drank deep of the cup of suffering,
and your death is our holy ground.

Everything I could ever offer
could not pay for what God has done;
but my life shall be spent in honour
of my Saviour, God's only Son.

My beloved, my beloved,
tell me where can you be found?
You drank deep of the cup of suffering,
and your death is our holy ground.

DISMISSAL

O Jesus Christ,
the story of your suffering is written on our hearts,
and the salvation of the world is in your outstretched hands.
Keep your victory always before our eyes,
your praise on our lips,
your peace in our lives. Amen.

May you find in the cross
a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven. Amen.

GOSPEL Matthew 27: 55-66

We depart in silence.


Acknowledgments:
‘A Service for Good Friday’, Uniting in Worship 2, 2005;
Collect by Steven Shakespeare, Prayers for an Inclusive Church, 2009.
Lord’s Prayer translation by Andrew Collis.
Lenten reflections by Richard White.
‘So much wrong’: Original words Palestinian traditional; Melody 16th c. French traditional; Translation and arrangement by John L. Bell.

Image: Victorious Lamb Agnus Dei with cross staff. Lid of relic shrine,
donated by the Esturian King Alfons the Great (866–910). Cathedral of
Astorga. Drawn by Hans-Ruedi Weber, in The Way of the Lamb: Christ
in the Apocalypse, Lenten Meditations (Geneva: WCC Publications, 1988).