Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Good Friday: Rite II
The Solemn Liturgy
The ministers enter in silence. They prostrate themselves before the altar and pray silently for a space, the congregation kneeling. Then the Ministers rise, and the Celebrant begins the liturgy as follows:

Celebrant: Blessed be our God,
Forever and ever. Amen.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Lesson: Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Epistle: Hebrews 10:16-25

The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to John: John 18-19:37
The Congregation may be seated for the first part of the Passion. At the verse which mentions the arrival at Golgotha (John 19:17) all stand.
At the verse announcing the death of Jesus (John 19:30), a pause is made, and all genuflect and keep silence for a space.

Hymn: Were You There

We sentenced Jesus to death, a death for all mankind. We’ve crucified him! We nailed him to a tree! For everyone of our sins he took the scourging, the Crown of Thorns, he endured the humiliation of being lead through the streets carrying his cross. He did this of his own free will. He did this to fulfill the Word of God and Promise of God. He did this because He loves us.

As I was meditating on what story to tell for this solemn day I was reminded of a story I first read in Elisa Davy Pearmain’s book, Doorways to the Soul. It is titled, “The Trial of God” and is adapted with permission from the writings of Holocaust survivor, Elie Weisel. The story is based on an experience of Wiesel in the German concentration camps of WW II. Wiesel put his experience in to a play by the same title as this short story.

The Jewish people imprisoned in a certain German concentration camp during WW II decide they must put God on trial. God is accused of failing to protect the Jewish people as God had promised their ancestors. The judges for the trial were three rabbis. They appointed a lawyer for the people and a lawyer for God. Many long days of deliberation were held. In the end, God was found guilty.

As the verdict was read, a great and long silence fell over the people. Finally one person spoke up and asked the rabbis, “What do we do now?”

The only answer the rabbis and the people found plausible in the face of the verdict and the face of the reality of their situation was that they must pray.

Hymn: Lift High The Cross

Deacon: Dear People of God: Our heavenly Father sent his Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved; that all who believe in him might be delivered from the power of sin and death, and become heirs with him of everlasting life.

We pray, therefore, for people everywhere according to their needs.

In the biddings which follow, the indented petitions may be adapted by addition or omission, as appropriate, at the discretion of the Celebrant.

Deacon: Let us pray for the holy Catholic Church of Christ throughout the world;
For its unity in witness and service
For all bishops and other ministers and the people whom they serve
For Edward, our Bishop, and all the people of this diocese
For all Christians in this community
For those about to be baptized
That God will confirm his Church in faith, increase it in love, and preserve it in peace.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Deacon: Let us pray for all nations and peoples of the earth, and for those in authority among them;
For Donald, the President of the United States
For the Congress and the Supreme Court
For all who serve the common good
That by God’s help they may seek justice and truth, and live in peace and concord.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth; that in tranquility your dominion may increase, until the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray for all who suffer and are afflicted in body or in mind;
For the hungry and the homeless, the destitute and the oppressed
For the sick, the wounded, and the disabled
For those in loneliness, fear, and anguish
For those who face temptation, doubt, and despair
For the sorrowful and bereaved
For prisoners and captives, and those in mortal danger
That God in his mercy will comfort and relieve them, and grant them the knowledge of his love, and stir up in us the will and patience to minister to their needs.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.

All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Gracious God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: Let the cry of those in misery and need come to you, that they may find your mercy present with them in all their afflictions; and give us, we pray, the strength to serve them for the sake of him who suffered for us, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Deacon: Let us pray for all who have not received the Gospel of Christ;
For those who have never heard the word of salvation
For those who have lost their faith
For those hardened by sin or indifference
For the contemptuous and the scornful
For those who are enemies of the cross of Christ and persecutors of his disciples
For those who in the name of Christ have persecuted others
That God will open their hearts to the truth and lead them to faith and obedience.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
Merciful God, creator of all the peoples of the earth and lover of souls: Have compassion on all who do not know you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ; let your Gospel be preached with grace and power to those who have not heard it; turn the hearts of those who resist it; and bring home to your fold those who have gone astray; that there may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Deacon: Let us commit ourselves to our God, and pray for the grace of a holy life, that, with all who have departed this world and have died in the peace of Christ, and those whose faith is known to God alone, we may be accounted worthy to enter into the fullness of the joy of our Lord, and receive the crown of life in the day of resurrection.

Celebrant: Let us pray.
Deacon: Let us bow the knee.
All kneel and pray silently for a space.
Deacon: Arise.
All stand, and the Celebrant says the following
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know 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 being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

A Deacon or Priest enters from the narthex carrying a large crucifix, or a plain wooden cross, accompanied by two acolytes carrying candles. The Deacon pauses three times and sings, each time at a higher pitch:
Behold the wood of the Cross, whereon was hung the world’s salvation!
O come, let us worship.

At the Unveiling of the Cross
The cross is placed before the altar, and opportunity is given for all to come forward and venerate it according to local custom. The traditional manner of veneration is as follows:

The Sacred Ministers and others in the sanctuary retire by a side way and reenter through the chancel. The Sacred Ministers customarily remove their shoes, but no other persons need do so. They are followed by those in the chancel, then by the congregation. Each worshipper kneels at the head of the nave, at the top of the chancel steps, and finally at the cross itself to kiss the feet of the figure of the Crucified (or to kiss the foot of the cross, if there is no crucifix). Veneration is normally done in pairs, with the person on the right venerating first.

Hymn: O Sacred Head Surrounded

Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
When the Sacred Ministers come to the altar of repose, they kneel before the Blessed Sacrament and cense it. Then they rise, and the Celebrant takes up the Blessed Sacrament and carries it through the church to the main altar for adoration of the people. An acolyte takes up the one remaining candle and bears it before the Blessed Sacrament. Meanwhile may be sung the following hymn, all kneeling:

Hymn: The Royal Banners

Confession and Absolution
Ye who do truly and earnestly repent you of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbours, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: Draw near with faith, and make your humble confession to Almighty God, devoutly kneeling.

Silence may be kept.

Celebrant and People: Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all men: We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honour and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Bishop stands and says: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who of his great mercy hath promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto him, have mercy upon you, pardon and deliver you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in all goodness, and bring you to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hear the Word of God to all who truly turn to him.

This is a true saying, and worthy of all men to be received, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15

And now, as our Saviour Christ hath taught us, we are bold to say with joined hands and one voice:
People and Celebrant: 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, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and forever. Amen.

No blessing or dismissal is added. The ministers retire by the shortest way, and all may depart in silence. After the ministers retire, the cross may be placed in a convenient place for veneration, and candles may be placed on either side. The cross should remain in place on the following day.

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