This Weeks Services ,Readings and Prayers

THE WAY OF THE CROSS

Welcome

Leader: Loving God, as we follow this Way of the Cross, help us to discover through Jesus’ journey, how much you love us.  Help us to know that we can turn to you in good times and in troubled times. The joy of salvation through Jesus’ resurrection is your gift to us. We prepare to receive that gift by expressing our sorrow for our sins.

Lord in your mercy… Hear our prayer.

All: We confess to almighty God that we have sinned in what we have thought, said and in what we have failed to do. We are truly sorry and ask your forgiveness.  We ask this in the name of our Lord and Saviour,  Jesus Christ.      Amen

Move to station 1

All       Kyrie eleison Northumbrian V1, 2

Empty, broken, here I stand,
kyrie eleison.
Touch me with your healing hand,
kyrie eleison.
Take my arrogance and pride,
kyrie eleison.
Wash me in your mercy’s tide,
kyrie eleison.

chorus
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, kyrie eleison.
I. Jesus Prays in the Garden

Leader:  As night approached, Jesus and three of his disciples went into the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. Jesus said to the disciples, stay awake with me and pray to the Father.  Then he went to a place on his own to think about what God wanted him to do.  There he told God that he didn’t want to face the suffering.  After some time he agreed to accept what God wanted him to do.  Three times he went back to the disciples and each time he found them sleeping.

Reader One:  In the garden, Jesus prayed to God for the strength and courage to do God’s will. He realized his Father wanted him to change his attitude and approach to death.  How can we trust God when                           circumstances make us feel hopeless?

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Turn to Station 2

All       Kyrie eleison v2When my faith has all but gone, kyrie eleison
give me strength to carry on, kyrie eleison

When my dreams have turned to dust, kyrie eleison
in you, O Lord, I put my trust, kyrie eleison

chorus
Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, kyrie eleison.

II. Jesus Is Betrayed

Leader:  While Jesus was speaking,  Judas arrived in the garden with the soldiers  and betrayed Jesus with a kiss. They took him away under guard.

Reader Two:                                                                                 Have you ever betrayed someone with a sign of love?          Have you ever felt let down by someone you thought you could trust?All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

A Poem called…                   The Kiss

Each of Judas’ eyelashes The stubble from his unshaved chin pressed against Him: The Christ. It was silent, the kiss, without tears or anger, just shame as Judas turned his face away, he never returned again. The Lord was led away, death walked with Him, in His mind a prayer, and Judas was forgiven.

  Move to Station 3

  All     kyrie eleison v3 & v5

III. Jesus Is Condemned

Leader: The high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of God?” Jesus said, “I am. You will see the Son seated at the right hand of the Power, coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses?  You have heard him. What is your decision?”  They condemned him to death.    

Reader Three:     

John 8:9b-11

Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, sir.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”                                                           

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Move to Station 4

All       Kyrie eleison v4

IV. Jesus Is Denied

Leader: A servant girl said to Peter, “You were with Jesus the Galilean.”  But he said, “I don’t know what you are talking about.”  When he went out to the porch, another servant said loudly, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” Peter swore,   “I do not know the man.”  Later, some bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for your accent betrays you.”  Then he began to curse and swear,   “I do not know the man!” At that moment the cock crowed.

Reader Four

Matthew 14:29b-31

Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Move to Station 5

All       The Lord is my shepherd -Stuart T -V1 & chorus

V. Jesus Is Judged

Leader: Pilate wanted to release Jesus because he knew  that he was innocent.  He asked the Jewish leaders, “What evil has he done?  I have found him innocent. I intend to give him a warning and release him.” But the crowd screamed to have Jesus crucified.               Pilate handed Jesus over and let them do with him whatever they wanted.

Reader Five:

Matthew 7:1-2 New International Version (NIV)

Judging Others

 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Move to Station 6

All       The LIMS ST 2 & chorus

VI. Jesus Is Crowned With Thorns

Leader: The soldiers clothed Jesus in a purple cloak.        After twisting some thorns into a crown,  they put the crown on Jesus. They began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” They struck him, spat upon him and knelt down before him to mock him.

Reader Six:Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Move to Station 7

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.  All       LIMS v3 & chorus                            VII. Jesus Carries His Cross

 Leader: Then Pilate handed Jesus over to the crowd to be crucified.  Carrying the cross by himself, Jesus went out to what is called Golgotha, The Place of the Skull.

Reader Seven All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Move to Station 8

Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

All  195 From heaven you came v1 & chorus            VIII. Jesus Is Helped by Simon

Leader: The soldiers forced a passerby,  who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross.  It was Simon of Cyrene.

Reader Eight: Simon helped Jesus carry his cross. Is there someone that you know with a burden you might help carry?

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Turn to Station 9

All       195 v2 & chorus        

IX. Jesus Comforts

Leader: Among the large number of people who followed Jesus on his way to Calvary, were women who were calling out their sorrow and support for him. But Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

Reader Nine:

Ecclesiastes 3

There is a time for everything,
 and a season for every activity under the heavens:

 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

All       195 v4 &chorus

Move to station 10

X. Jesus Is Crucified

Leader: The soldiers crucified Jesus there with criminals on either side. Jesus  “Father, forgive them,  for they do not know what they are doing.” The leaders scoffed at Jesus.  The soldiers also mocked him, offering him wine and saying,   “If you are the King of the Jews,  save yourself!”

Reader Ten: Jesus did an amazing thing for those who crucified him. He freely forgave them,  even though they had not earned forgiveness.                                    All: Lord, help me to follow your way. 

  A poem called…                 Ruins

I watch amazed, as you walk effortlessly and even gracefully, through crumbled ruins of humanity. Not once laying one stone on another, letting it slide to an unbeknown fate, yet…

When you left, the ruins stood no more, in its place, humanity had been restored, Even though you did not touch a brick. I saw you walk still further beyond, the skip in your step replaced with a limp, the sparkle in your eye dropped into a tear,

It made no sense to me, they crucified you?

I did not see them nail you to the cross,

But when you turned and looked at me,

I felt it, I knew,

     The cross you were carrying

was to forgive me.

Move to Station 11

All       196 v3 & chorus    

XI. Jesus Promises the Thief Paradise

Leader: One of the criminals who was crucified with Jesus taunted him, saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah?  Save yourself and us!” But the other one said,   “We deserve to be punished, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied,    “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Reader Eleven:                                                                             One thief tried to defend his wrongdoing as he hung on the cross next to Jesus.  The other admitted his guilt. “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”           

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Move to Station 12 

All       931 Jesus remember me

XII. Jesus Provides for His Mother

Leader: When Jesus saw his mother and his beloved disciple standing beside her beneath his cross, he said to his mother, “This is now your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that moment, the disciple took her into his home.            

Reader Twelve:

Jesus asked John, his beloved disciple, to care for his mother, Mary. She is remembered as the first member of the Church.  

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

All       931 Jesus remember me

XIII. Jesus Dies

Leader: It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, because of an eclipse of the sun. Then Jesus cried out, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”  Then he died.

Silence – pause for reflection

All       931 Jesus remember me

Move to Station 13

The cross you were carrying

.

XIV. Jesus Is Placed in the Tomb

Leader: In the evening, a wealthy man from Arimathea named Joseph (a disciple of Jesus) arrived on the scene. He asked Pilate for Jesus’ body and Pilate ordered it to be given to him.  Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb and rolled a great stone for a door.

Reader: We pause to contemplate this act of closure on his life. 

Pause

Stand for a moment outside this tomb.  This final journey of his life has shown us the meaning of His gift of himself for us.  This tomb represents every tomb we may stand before with fear, in defeat, struggling to believe it could ever be empty.

In the fullness of faith in the Crucified one, we express our gratitude for this way of the cross. 

We ask Jesus the Christ, whose hands, feet and side still bear the signs of this journey, to grant us the graces we need to take up our own cross, to be a servant of his mission.

All: Lord, help me to follow your way.

Leader: And so with Jesus we pray

                ,
Modern L Prayer

All: Here is Love v1-3

Leader: We share the Grace together

All: The Grace – words

After the service….

A Self-isolation Meditation for Easter 2020. [Texts from the Good News Bible]

Introductory notes. Jesus is God in human form, “The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us” [prelude to St John’s Gospel]. God lived a while in his own Created universe. As such, he was an embarrassment to the self-glorifying Jewish Temple clergy of his day – our 1st century AD – and viewed as a potential trouble-maker by the Romans, who had added Palestine to their Empire and installed the kingly Herod family to keep the Jews in order for them.. or suffer for failing to do so. There were long-standing prophesies that a Messiah – a man chosen by God, and descended from King David – would come and set up God’s Jewish kingdom-on-Earth, and so large numbers of people half-expected Jesus to throw out the Romans, clean up the Temple clergy, and reign as The Messiah for ever…until the end of the world. Therefore, those of power and influence were keen to get rid of him. The Romans had laid down that only they could pass sentence of death on those they ruled – and thereby stopped ‘gang warfare’ amongst the Jewish sects – and so Pontius Pilate, the Governor of Judea at the the time, was manoeuvred by the Jewish clergy and their supporters into arresting and executing Jesus. Since crucifixion was Rome’s cruellest, yet most effective, way of dealing with criminals, we may be in no doubt that Jesus died upon the cross. After a chaotic rigged trial, Pilate authorised Jesus’ execution. Our Gospel accounts take up the story: –

Good Friday

Luke; 23.33ff] When they came to the place called ‘The Skull’, they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals … Jesus said,” Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.” … The soldiers mocked him, and said, “Save yourself if you are the king of the Jews.” Above him were written these words, “This is the king of the Jews.” … It was about twelve o’clock when the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole land until three o’clock; and the curtain hanging in the Temple was torn in two. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father! In your hands I place my spirit!” He said this and died. The Roman army officer saw what had happened, and praised God, saying, “Certainly he was a good man.”

When Jesus was a-dying upon the cruel tree A thief upon each hand of him he had for company

So, let us all remember, when each his off ‘ring brings That Jesus loved the shepherds, as well as the three kings.” Old English Carol]

John;19.31ff] The Jewish authorities asked Pilate… to take down the bodies from the crosses. They did not want the bodies to stay on the crosses on the Sabbath, because the coming Sabbath (The Passover) was especially holy. So, the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man, and then the other man who had been crucifies with Jesus. But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was already dead…One of the soldiers, however, plunged his spear into Jesus’ side, and at once blood and water poured out. In this, [Thy bitter Passion, Good Shepherd think of me with thy most sweet compassion, Unworthy though I be. Beneath Thy Cross abiding forever would I rest, In Thy dear love confiding, and with thy presence blessed.” Chorale from Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’ based on a traditional German hymn]

Matthew; 27.57ff] When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea arrived; his name was Joseph, and he was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate gave orders for the body to be given to Joseph (who) placed it in his own tomb which he had just recently cut out of solid rock. Then he rolled a large stone across the entrance and went away.

Passover and Sabbath; a day of rest

[ “Yet earlier still an Angel sped, his news of comfort bringing, “For why, “he said, “amongst the dead Thus seek ye for the living?” Alleluia alleluia … the first the dear, dear form to see, of Him who hung upon the Tree, Hosanna in excelsis!” Traditional English Easter Carol: interestingly, women are clearly the un-sung heroines of more of the Gospel story than the texts which have come down the ages to us suggest.]