If what Christians say about Good Friday is true, then it is, quite simply, the truth about everything.

Richard John Neuhaus

Opening Psalm: Psalm 31:9-16

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; 
my eye wastes away from grief, 
my soul and body also. 
For my life is spent with sorrow, 
and my years with sighing; 
my strength fails because of my misery, 
and my bones waste away.
I am the scorn of all my adversaries, 
a horror to my neighbors, 
an object of dread to my acquaintances; 
those who see me in the street flee from me. 
I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; 
I have become like a broken vessel. 
For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!— 
as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life. 
But I trust in you, O Lord; 
I say, “You are my God.” 
My times are in your hand; 
deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. 
Let your face shine upon your servant; 
save me in your steadfast love.

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 54:4-6

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But 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. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Silence for reflection and prayer.

Devotional Poem – “Good Friday” by Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone and not a sheep
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath thy cross,
To number drop by drop Thy blood’s slow loss,
And yet not weep?

Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;

Not so the sun and moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon—
I, only I.

Yet give not o’er,
But seek thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

Closing Prayer

Our stony hearts cry out to you, O Lord, and our souls and bodies also. For on you was laid the iniquity of us all. Wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. Bruised that we might be healed. Heal us, Lord. By your bruises, heal us. Bring us to your cross, that we might be born again out of your wounded side, and find mercy in you. Seek your sheep, true Shepherd, for we have gone astray and cannot find our way home without you. Our stony hearts cry out to you, Lord. Hear us and save us. 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.

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