This day is called “Good” because it reflects on love as much as loss.
Good Friday is not mournful. While it does bring us face to face with suffering and death, it leads us into resurrection. This day proclaims life even amid torture, suffering, powerlessness & death.
Our liturgy is very simple but profoundly powerful.
Jesus was the God-man whose metamorphic arms never seemed to close.
They were permanently open for bumbling disciples and those crippled by sickness.
They stretched wide for disbelieving critics, disarming children and deranged adults.
They never closed for the unwashed, undervalued, underappreciated or unloved.
Thus, in that ultimate act of irony, Jesus was nailed to a tree, in the agonizing stance of his own hospitality. Arms outstretched nailed to the world.
Jesus hangs in there between us and sin.
Jesus was: Betrayed, Waited, Arrested, Sentenced, Flogged, Tormented, Crowned with thorns, Ridiculed, Executed
Words are very powerful. We know the damage words can do and if we sit with the words, we can reflect on times in our lives that we physically, emotionally, psychologically experienced:
Betrayed – who betrayed you, or did you betray someone?
Waited – what did you wait for, news of a medical test, the birth of a child, a visit, fear to pass?
Arrested – do you know someone; are you someone; have you witnessed someone being arrested?
Sentenced – because of illness, loneliness, isolation, COVID19, because you have committed a crime?
Flogged – does life beat you down, do you feel the weight of those around you, have your experienced DV?
Tormented – what in life, tortures; plays on your mind and/or physical health, continues to draw you off the right path to be your best self?
Crowned – titles, name-calling, expectations to be everything to everybody – pierce us and drag us down.
Ridiculed – by society, by neighbours, by the system, by friends, by family – who is your safe person?
Executed – sometimes we must acknowledge the little deaths as well as the big deaths in our lives before we can rise with Jesus.
You are invited to reflect for a moment
Words of Wisdom from Sr Hilda Scott for Good Friday
Suggested Morning Prayer – Stations of the Cross for our times
Good Friday is traditionally a day when the church is empty and bare following the Holy Thursday service. This year our churches will be physically empty as the COVID19 restrictions means we must prepare, and find ways to immerse ourselves in remembering, reading scripture, following the services, as they are live-streamed to our homes and creating our own way to walk with Jesus
Today is a day we are invited to view our lives through the Stations of the Cross, a 14-step devotion on Good Friday.
Suggested Afternoon – 3pm ‘The Lord’s Passion’
We begin with a period of silence.
We listen to the Passion from John’s Gospel and we hear, Jesus prayer in the psalm: Father, I put my life in your hands.”
After this we are reminded that there are many people in our world who need our prayers, and so as a priestly people we pray a special for all who suffer.
The cross, the symbol of our victory and of hope, is venerated. It is our opportunity to humble ourselves before the awesome saving action of Christ. We approach the cross and acknowledge its power.
Veneration of the Cross
This an ancient practice from the seventh century. There was a piece of wood believed to be from the Cross Christ died upon that the faithful approached, and touched the wood as the words, ‘Behold, the Wood of the Cross,” is said.
You might like to use a cross from your home today and sit with the cross remembering the sacrifice Jesus made for each one of us. In reverencing His Cross we are, in effect, adoring Christ, not the Cross itself. The mantra we say is ‘We adore You, O Christ, and we bless You because by Your Holy Cross You have Redeemed the World.’
Cross Making Activity
Why not gather some twigs from your garden or as you take a walk (observing physical distancing) and make a simple wooden cross for this year’s Good Friday? Just cross them over and secure with string, this can be your focus for reflection and the work of your hands.
Scripture for Today – The Passion
The Passion is read for the 3rd time this week. We read it on Palm Sunday, Holy Saturday and now on Good Friday.
If you have other people in your home maybe, you could ask each person to take a part to read see link below.
If you are at home alone this might be a way to reflect on the readings yourself, click on the link below.
If you would rather follow the Good Friday services, you can watch using the live-streamed links at the end or you can watch on Channel 7 from 10.30 am at St Mary’s Cathedral.
As your day ends, you may have fasted, as is the custom for many Christians on this day. But as we have all been confined and isolated you might like to treat yourself and those you are living with to some Hot Cross Buns.
The familiar hot cross buns are sweet rolls with the sign of the cross cut into it, and they are one of several traditional European breads marked with a cross for Good Friday. According to tradition, these buns originated at St Alban’s Abbey in 1361, where the monks gave them to the poor people who came there.
I like to buy my Hot Cross buns but you might like to bake some
Do you remember this ….
You might remember this Good Friday rhyme:
Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns! One a-penny two-a-penny, Hot cross buns! If you have no daughters, give ’em to your sons! One a-penny two-a-penny, Hot cross buns!
Meditation Prayer of Imagination
SYDNEY St Mary’s Cathedral
MELBOURNE St Patrick’s Cathedral