Prayers Good Friday, Yr A

Prayer of the Church, Good Friday, Year A

P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Today we remember Jesus whom you sent to be our Suffering Servant. In his Passion, he was marred beyond human semblance. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. Yet as the Suffering Servant for the whole human race, he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. His sacrifice on the cross has atoned for the sins of the world. Today we stumble on our words—for they fall far short of comprehending the enormity of our Crucified God’s suffering; and the extent of his saving work accomplished on that first Good Friday, long ago. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Long ago the psalmist cried out in an agonizing prayer: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” On the cross, Jesus in his suffering also cried out those same words; expressing his excruciating pain of mind, body, soul and spirit. Yet, in his aloneness, and feeling abandoned; it was to you he spoke those words. In our times of suffering; of feeling alone and abandoned; may we always remember that you are with us Jesus. Today we especially remember those in our midst and around the world who are left alone and abandoned—give them the assurance that you are with them Jesus; and deliver them from their forsakenness. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Today we praise and thank you for making a covenant with us through the suffering and death; the sacrificial body and shed blood of Jesus. He has forgiven our sins and opened the curtain to give us access to the sanctuary of your Holy Presence. In response to his abundant love for us; may we consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds as we meet together to worship and serve you and our neighbours. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: We are all participants in the Passion of your Son; we along with Judas, the soldiers, police and political and religious leaders betray you and arrest you. We, like Peter deny you. We, like Pilate place you on trial, judge and sentence you to death; when, in truth, you are our Judge. We, like the soldiers and the crowds mock and taunt you and yell “Crucify him!” Forgive us in our sinful exploitation and oppression of the world’s poorest, weakest, and most forgotten of peoples—for you are present in them and their suffering. Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.
(Other thanksgivings and intercessions may be offered here, ending with: Jesus, may we always remember your love for us on the cross: C: Have mercy, and hear our prayer.)
P: Blessed are you, LORD God of all creation: Have mercy and hear our prayers that we pray in the name of Jesus our Suffering Servant. ALL: Amen.

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Prayer Maundy Thursday, Year A

Prayer of the Church, Maundy Thursday, Year A
P: God our Deliverer: We praise and thank you that in ancient times you instructed Moses and Aaron to institute the Passover festival; which is to be a perpetual ordinance for Israel. The blood of the Passover lamb on the Israelite houses was a sign to the LORD to pass over and save them from death. The Passover is also a meal celebrating the freedom of the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. We pray for all peoples in our land and around the globe who continue to be oppressed and suffer from various forms of slavery; grant them deliverance. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: Like the psalmist of old, we will lift up the cup of salvation and call on your name; for you have loosed our bonds. We will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice as we call on your name to worship and serve you. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: We give you our praise and thanks for instructing the ancient Church to institute the sacrament of Holy Communion; and handed down to us today. As we eat and drink the bread and wine, may we always remember what you have done for us on the cross Jesus. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: On that first Maundy Thursday long ago, you took on the role of the lowest slave or household servant by washing the feet of your disciples. In washing their feet, you set an example of humble service for all time to everyone who wishes to follow you. In this way, you also revealed how to live out your new commandment by loving one another. Forgive us when we fail to love one another in acts of humble service; forgive us for failing to let everyone know that we are Jesus’ disciples by not loving one another. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. (Additional prayers may be included here, ending with: God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.) P: God our Deliverer: During this Holy Week, we are drawn into the story of your Passion. We too are saddened by the betrayal of Judas who was one of your disciples. Have mercy on us when we betray you and evil powers overtake us. Deliver us from those who betray us. As we celebrate your Holy Supper tonight; draw us close to you and grant us ever-grateful hearts for the saving power of your forgiveness poured out for us on the cross. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer. P: God our Deliverer: The world continues to be filled with sorrow and grief, hatred and evil, terrorism and war. Bestow your divine grace upon all leaders of nations; that they may govern with compassion for their people to serve and protect the interests of the weakest and most vulnerable in the land. God of mercy: C: Hear our prayer.
P: All of these our prayers we commend into your all-sufficient hands; that in mercy you would hear us for the sake of Jesus our Crucified Messiah. ALL: Amen.

A Prayer for Good Friday in Holy Week

Father forgive us by James B. Janknegt

A Prayer for Good Friday in Holy Week

Jesus, Crucified God, on this holiest of days, words fail to express adequately the pain and agony of the human race and the whole of creation, which you bore on the Cross. Yet, with our imperfect, finite words we come into your presence with deep sorrow for the evil that we have done and continue to do daily without even realising the full extent of our thoughts, words and actions, which crucify you anew. We crucify you anew as we complacently allow the weakest and most vulnerable of peoples around the globe to be imprisoned, tortured and murdered. We crucify you anew, when we, like Cain say, “Am I my brother’s or sister’s keeper?” We crucify you anew, with our apathy towards two-thirds of the world’s peoples who live each day without having their basic needs of adequate food, clothing and shelter met. We crucify you anew by allowing greed to be a virtue instead of a vice in order to reward billionaires by robbing ordinary people. We crucify you anew as we remain silent in the face of a growing antisemitism in many nations of the world; as well as in the media and among those in positions of leadership in governments and organisations like the United Nations. We crucify you anew by favouring short-term economic gain over long-term economic and environmental sustainability. We crucify you anew whenever CEOs of companies and Presidents of universities are rewarded with exorbitant salaries while rank and file employees’ salaries are frozen and students live in poverty because of greedy hikes in their tuition fees. We crucify you anew by abandoning our youth and seniors when they need us the most. Jesus, Cross-bearing Saviour, have mercy upon us. Jesus, Suffering Servant, have mercy upon us. Jesus, Lamb of God, have mercy upon us. As we read in Luke 23:34, you do have mercy upon us. You prayed for every sinner precisely at the moment that humankind employed their worst evil against you and were farthest away from you by nailing you to a Cross. Your words from the Cross, as you hung there suffering beyond comprehension and dying were words of sheer grace, love and forgiveness: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” That is why this Friday is called Good! Thank you Jesus for all that you have done for me, all of humankind, and the entire universe on the Cross. For your love’s sake, we pray.

A Prayer for Maundy Thursday

The Washing of the Disciples' Feet by Ghislaine Howard

A Prayer for Maundy Thursday in Holy Week

Jesus, on this night long ago, you instituted the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the Eucharist, or the Medicine of Immortality, as one follower of yours would later call it. Moreover, in preparation for this Sacred Meal, which functions as a Christian Passover; you humbled yourself as a slave or lowest servant would by washing your disciples’ feet. This was an act of tenderness and exemplary servanthood for followers of yours in every time and place. Thank you Jesus for establishing a covenant with us through the suffering of your body and shedding of your blood on the Cross—which we remember and celebrate your Presence in, with and under the bread and wine of your Holy Meal. We confess to you Jesus that in sinful pride, Christians of every denomination have celebrated this sacrament in ways that have furthered divisions within your one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. This has proven, and still is a tragedy and scandalous to millions upon millions of people; since one of the very purposes of instituting the Lord’s Supper was to unite your followers, not divide them. Suffering Servant, Passover Lamb of God, take away our personal sins and the whole sins of the world as we come to you for this Holy Medicine of Immortality, make us your One Body throughout the world. For your love’s sake, we pray.

A Prayer for Wednesday in Holy Week

Jesus before the Council by Simon Bening

Jesus, many believed you to be the Messiah. Yet, in the tragic irony of your Passion, you were on trial before the assembly of elders, the religious authorities and experts. Many of them were sceptical that you were the Messiah. (Luke 22:66-71) It seems that no matter what you said, they regarded it as incriminating evidence. We confess that there are moments in our lives when we act pretentiously like some of the religious leaders of your day. We, like they, think we know more than you, when, in truth, we are ignorant and incriminate ourselves—sometimes without even knowing it. We repent of our pretentious ways, begging your forgiveness. Jesus, Suffering Servant, have mercy upon me/us. For your love’s sake, we pray.

A Prayer for Tuesday in Holy Week

A Prayer for Tuesday in Holy Week

Peter's Denial, Masters of Dirc van Delf

Jesus, you predicted that Peter would deny you three times, even though he told you that he’d go to prison and even death with you. We confess that we’re no better than Peter. We may boast our resolve to remain faithful to you, come what may, only to discover the next moment that we’ve denied you too, like Peter. We deny you in many and various ways. We deny you to conform to the dictates of peer groups. We deny you for fleeting momentary gains of popularity, wealth and status. We deny you out of cowardice for fear of confronting others who persecute or ridicule you and take your name in vain. We deny you when we lack the courage to stand up for those who suffer and are persecuted for your name’s sake. We deny you for the sake of inconvenience, we might have to suffer some hardship and that would never do. We deny you out of ignorance, not realising what we’ve done and its consequences until after the fact. We deny you because we prefer the way of triumphalism rather than the Way of the Cross. We deny you in countless ways, so often we’ve lost track. Is there any hope for us Jesus? Yes, you reassure us in what your said to Peter. You prayed that his own faith would not fail and, one day, after has denial, he’d be able to turn back in repentance and go on to strengthen his companions. (Luke 22:31-34) What sorrow I, we must inflict upon you Jesus. I, we, repent of our countless denials of you Jesus. Have mercy upon me/us; heal and forgive me/us. For your love’s sake.

A Prayer for Monday in Holy Week

A Prayer for Monday in Holy Week

In Luke 22:3-4, we read: “Then Satan entered into Judas, who was called Iscariot, one of the Twelve; and he went to the chief priests and temple guards to discuss ways of betraying Jesus to them.” (REB) Jesus, Suffering Servant, if one of the Twelve who was with you during your public ministry could betray you, then what chance have I, or anyone for that matter, of not doing the same? Do I, like Judas, not betray you when I fail to see you in my neighbour—especially the least of these brothers and sisters in need—and fail to welcome and love them as if they were you? Do I, like Judas, betray you whenever I cave in to the status quo and political correctness for selfish gains? Do I not betray you every day whenever the old nature, the old Adam and Eve in direct my thoughts, words and deeds? Have mercy upon me sinner that I am, forgive me for all the betrayals I’ve committed against you. Have mercy upon us all, and forgive us all. Keep us close to you and deliver us from evil. May we be ever grateful for the events of your Passion and your unconditional forgiveness, even when we betray you. For your love’s sake, we pray.