Revd Rex A E Hunt
Web site: www.rexaehuntprogressive.com
A TIME OF REFLECTION ON GOOD FRIDAY
Good Friday C. 2 April 2010.
Acknowledgement of land
(An act towards reconciliation)
For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked
in this land, on their own country.
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.
We acknowledge the (NN) People and their stewardship
of this land throughout the ages.
(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation
(There is no provision for a Contemporary word/Sermon in this Liturgy. However, a colleague in America, Ian Lawton, has a powerful sermon on the Cross. You can check it out here. It may take a minute or so to come up. And an earlier sermon of mine (updated) is available here.)
The candle is lit
Gathering The people gather in silence.
By Heather Johnston. Let justice roll down/182-83.
What's good about it?
On a hill called Calvary
Three wooden crosses
Filled with pain and misery.
Then God himself
Turned out the light
Mourning for his only son
The day was blacker than night.
The world stood still and waited
'It is finished,' he cried
Bowed his head in obedience
What's good about it?
v2 He is good.
We gather again on this Good Friday
at the foot of the cross which calls us on,
not in shame,
not in fear
but more deeply into the costly journey
There is wounding, there is weeping.
In Jesus as the Promised One,
God is not separated from that.
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Spirit of God" (Tune: 'Passion Chorale' 76 76D, 339 TiS)
Spirit of God pervading
the earth as swirling mist,
her presence shall persist;
she rests on men and women,
she shares her gifts with all,
and we respond in freedom,
rejoicing at her call.
Her wisdom keeps creating
new wonders to behold,
through her creation's story
is constantly retold.
Mountain and river valley
acclaim her name with praise,
the glacier and the desert
as one their voices raise.
Midst folk she freely mingles
to challenge and inspire,
dream dreams, and share visions,
rekindle sparks of fire,
a passion for God's mission
we all are called to share
'til heaven and earth both mirror
koinonia and care.
Spirit of God empowering
each of us as we sing,
our faith-skills and whole being
before you now we bring.
Embrace us with your blessing,
transform us through your word,
so we may live confessing,
the love and grace of God. LSanderson/sco
O God true source of humanity,
mother and father of us all
you renew us so we may grow like you.
All We gather together:
from corner or limelight,
from fears or from sadness,
from hope or from gladness
in close relationships or from separate lives.
All We gather together:
who long for the company,
the levelling and the deepest joys,
found in your presence.
All We gather together:
to meet you, to celebrate your love,
and to rejoice in the possibilities that arise
when we honour all the diversity of our humanity.
All We gather together - with you. (Adapt./St James Church, London)
Hymn "A man of ancient time and place" (Tune: 'Tallis' Canon' 88 88, 443 TiS
A man of ancient time and place
with foreign speech and foreign face,
reveals the glory, power and grace
of costly, unexpected love.
A rabbi, schooled in Moses’ Law,
a male, amending Herod’s flaw,
arouses wonder, rage and awe
with costly, unexpected love.
By teasing word and healing deed,
a leper touched, an outcast freed,
he bears the fruit and plants the seed
of costly, unexpected love.
The cost we barely can surmise
when, lifted up before our eyes,
the face of God we recognise
in crucified, unfathomed love.
May faith and hope within us grow,
the way of Christ to tell and show,
and may the Spirit breathe and blow
in costly, unexpected love. BWren
The people sit
Luke 23:1-32 (Inclusive text)
v2 The elders of the people and the chief priests and scribes rose,
and they brought Jesus before Pilate.
They began their accusation by saying,
"We found this man inciting our people to revolt,
opposing payment of tribute to Caesar,
and claiming to be Christ, a king."
Pilate put Jesus this question,
"Are you the king of the Jews?"
"It is you who say it," Jesus replied
v3 I remember a man who had dreams of what might be:
that people would be set free from ideas and images
about God that enslaved them,
that people would believe that through their
everyday acts of human kindness they are
intimately connected with the sacred,
that people would live
'in peace, in God's presence all the days of their lives'
I remember a man driven by his dreams.
v2 Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowds,
"I find no case against this man.”
But they persisted,
"He is inflaming the people
with his teaching all over Judea;
it has come all the way from Galilee,
where he began, down to here."
v4 I remember a man who had his moments of breakthrough,
when it must have seemed his dream was being realised:
the times people really listened and responded,
the men and women who were prepared
to walk with him and support him,
times when he spoke better and more convincingly
than other times.
I remember a man enthused by his successes.
Hymn In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
“Deep in the human heart” (Tune: ‘’Diademata’ 66 86D, 228 TiS)
Deep in the human heart
The fire of justice burns;
A vision of a world renewed
Through radical concern.
As Christians we are called
To set the captives free,
To overthrow the evil powers
And end hypocrisy.
This is our task today:
To build a world of peace;
A world of justice, freedom, truth,
Where kindness will increase;
A world from hunger freed,
A world where people share,
Where every person is of worth
And no-one lives in fear.
Taking the step of faith,
We leave the past behind,
And move into the future's world
With open heart and mind.
By grace we work with Christ,
As one community,
To bring new hope and fuller life,
To all humanity. WWallace/ssa
v2 When Pilate heard this,
he asked if the man was a Galilean.
And finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction,
he passed him over to Herod
who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
Herod was delighted to see Jesus;
he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time
to set eyes on him;
he was hoping to see some miracle worked by Jesus.
So Herod questioned Jesus at some length,
but without getting a reply.
v5 I remember a man who learned of the cruel death of his cousin.
He got into a boat, seeking a lonely place,
where he could be with his friends
to absorb the shock,
to grieve quietly,
and to calm the feelings of powerlessness and frustration
and fear for his own future.
I wonder what he prayed about that night?
I wonder what helped him leave that lonely place
and go forward to confront life,
rather than retreat into isolation and safety?
I remember a man driven by his convictions.
v2 Then Herod, together with his guards,
treated Jesus with contempt and made fun him;
Herod put a rich cloak on Jesus,
and sent him back to Pilate.
And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before,
they were reconciled that same day.
Pilate then summoned the chief priests
and the leaders and the people.
"You brought this man before me," Pilate said, "as a political agitator.
"Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence
and found no case against him
in respect of all the charges you bring against him.
"Nor has Herod either, since he has sent him back to us.
As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserve death,
so I shall have him flogged and then let him go."
But altogether they howled,
"Away with him! Give us Barabbas!"
Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again,
but they shouted back, "Crucify, crucify him!"
v6 I remember a man whose dream was shattered:
who broke down and cried over what could have been,
who knew the pain of failure and powerlessness,
who knew what it was like to feel broken and terribly alone.
I remember someone human like all of us.
v2 Pilate then gave a verdict: their demand was to be granted.
Pilate released Barabbas whom they asked for
and who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder,
and handed Jesus over to them
to deal with as they pleased.
v7 I remember a man who knew he was going to die:
who gathered with his friends
knowing it was for the last time,
who spoke to them about what he really believed,
who wanted them to remember him
and to keep his dream alive.
I remember a testament to love.
We remember all this...
Music of lament
Luke 23:33 (Inclusive text)
When they reached the place called The Skull,
they crucified Jesus there with the two criminals also,
one on the right, the other on the left.
v7 I remember a man crucified.
He was a failure, abandoned by his male friends,
enduring a shameful and agonising death,
no consoling or heartfelt presence of his God to help him.
I remember a man whose faith in all he believed
was tested to the limits.
"Easter down under"
Title adapted from Shirley Murray. Faith forever singing.
is a dying here
of autumn sun
and darkening year:
Easter might wait,
and sign of spring
till its summoning.
Yet bush and fern
hold secret spring
from rotted leaf
the frond curls clean
Cross 1 The cross is lifted from the cradle and held by four men
Shroud A white shroud is put in place by four women
Cross 2 The cross is carried horizontal and placed on the white shroud
The gift of 'paper' petals and autumn/gum leaves
The women’s prominence at the cross stands in contrast to the men.
And having women as witnesses
was part of a consistent subversiveness
which belonged at the heart of Jesus’ approach.
Therefore, remembering the death of our innocent selves.
And remembering the death of innocent,
fragile things in the world around us...
I invite the women of the congregation
to come and scatter some 'petals' and leaves
over the cross, as our witnesses.
The women of the congregation come forward and scatter paper 'petals' and gum/dried leaves over the cross
The gift of fragrant oil
And remembering the gift of the unnamed woman
we offer this fragrant oil.
Some fragrant oil is sprinkled over the leaves
Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"Easter 1" (Tune:‘St Magnus, 86 86, 378 TiS)
So bleak with possibility,
bare branches reach for hope,
a promise in this barren time
of love of boundless scope.
We look beyond this season's end,
through winter's lengthened night,
to longer days, and new found growth,
the cross no more a blight.
Each healing hand, each watchful eye,
each grief or joy we share,
lives out that resurrection love,
our calling and our care. © Andrew Pratt
“Good Friday” (Tune: ‘Thornbury’, 76 76D. 15, 456 TiS)
Mid laughter and derision,
with mocking, mournful cry,
see evil’s quiet corruption,
as people wander by.
All dignity is fading,
and life will ebb away,
the Christ is hung on Friday,
the powers have had their say.
The women still stand watching,
the men in fear have gone,
the sky is cut with darkness,
the sun will not shine on.
In childlike resignation
the Christ gives up his last,
indignity is finished,
his suffering is past.
A soldier still stands silent,
then falling to his knees,
in quiet acclamation,
adores the Christ he sees.
While Mary leaves unnoticed,
a broken, crippled soul,
the shadows hide her anguish,
her grief will take control.
We sing the story sadly,
we act the story well,
but now we leave forgetting
the truths it has to tell.
God give us sense to grapple
with powers that would defame
the Christ in one another,
the hope we long to name. © Andrew Pratt 10/2/2010
v8 I remember a man of extraordinary religious insight:
utterly convinced of the connectedness
between human loving and living in God,
determined to give people personal authority
in their relationship with God,
wanting to set people free from fear of the unknown,
setting his heart on breaking down barriers between people...
We give thanks for the ways
in which the life, teaching, and death of Jesus,
have set us free.
An affirmation of faith
It is now time for us to leave this place.
Let us commend ourselves into the hands of God.
The people stand as they are able
v1 We believe in God around us,
v2 Dreamer and sustainer of life.
All When there was nothing but an ocean of tears,
God sighed over the waters and dreamed a small dream:
light in the darkness,
a small planet in space.
v1 We believe in God beside us,
v2 Jesus as the Christ, dream made flesh.
All When hate and fear were raging,
when love was beaten down,
when hope was nailed and left to die,
Christ entered into our deep secret places
and went down into our death to find us.
v1 We believe in God within us,
v2 Spirit who empowers the dream.
All Who weeps with us in our despair,
who breathes on prison doors,
never admitting it's hopeless,
always expecting the bars to bend and sway
and break forth into blossom. Adapt/DMcRae-McMahon/eoj
Now... go in peace and faith.
For nothing can separate you
from the love and source of life - Creativity God.
Candle is extinguished
People leave the worship space in silence as and when they are ready
You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you
to share with another member of your family, or with a friend.
I recommend the use of
LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches.
Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy:
Duncan, G. (ed). 2003. Let justice roll down. A worship resource for lent, holy week & easter. OH: Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press.
Duncan, G. (ed). 1998. Seeing christ in others. An anthology for worship, mediation and mission. GtB: Norwich. The Canterbury Press.
Faith forever singing. Songs for a new day. 2000. NZ: Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust.
Inclusive readings. Year C. 2003. QLD: Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation.
Morwood, M. 2003. Praying a new story. VIC: Richmond. Spectrum Publications. (The seven (7) Reflections all come from this book)
McRae-McMahon, D. 1993. Echoes of our journey. Liturgies of the people. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
Pratt, Andrew. 'Easter 1'. A special hymns written for an Australian Easter. From the composer.
Seasons of the Spirit/Whole people of God. Australian agent/Adelaide, SA.
Wallace, W. L. 1981. Something to sing about. Hymns and reflections in search of a contemporary spirituality. VIC: Melbourne. JBCE.
Wild Goose Worship Group. 1998. Stages on the way. Worship resources for lent, holy week & easter. GtB: Glasgow. Iona Community.
Andrew Pratt. "Good Friday" 2010. Hymns and words blog site. UK.
Wren. Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com