Holy Week is a privileged time when we are called to draw near to Jesus: friendship with him is shown in times of difficulty.Pope Francis
Opening Psalm: Psalm 36:5-11
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart! Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:5-8
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.
Silence for reflection and prayer.
Devotional Poem – “Holy Week” by Ann Weems
Holy is the week … Holy, consecrated, belonging to God … We move from hosannas to horror with the predictable ease of those who know not what they do. Our hosannas sung, our palms waved, let us go with passion into this week. It is a time to curse fig trees that do not yield fruit. It is a time to cleanse our temples of any blasphemy. It is a time greet Jesus as the Lord’s Anointed One, to lavishly break our alabaster and pour perfume out for him without counting the cost. It is a time for preparation … The time to give thanks and break bread is upon us. The time to give thanks and drink of the cup is imminent. Eat, drink, remember: On this night of nights, each one must ask, as we dip our bread in the wine, “Is it I?” And on that darkest of days, each of us must stand beneath the tree and watch the dying if we are to be there when the stone is rolled away. The only road to Easter morning is through the unrelenting shadows of that Friday. Only then will the alleluias be sung; only then will the dancing begin.
O Lord, this week we see your love in ways we had not imagined: on its knees, washing our feet, in agony as we sleep, under trial as we deny, and at the cross as we hide in fear. This week, O Lord, we see your love for us – your love that extends to the heavens, your love that humbles itself on the cross – reaching out to us, and embracing us in ways we had not imagined. Open our hearts to the wonder of this love, to the pain of this week, and to the cost of our salvation, that we might know the joy of the resurrection and love’s eternal triumph in ways we also have not imagined. Amen
You can find a pdf of a prayer booklet offering this format for each day of the week here: Poems, Prayers, Psalms, and Promises.