(18 April 2014, 3 April 2015)
ALMIGHTY God, we beseech you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before you for all estates of men in your holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
O MERCIFUL God, who has made all men, and hates nothing that you have made, nor wishes the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all who follow false religions, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of your Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hates nothing that you have made and forgives the sins of all them that are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Numbers 21:4-9; Psalm 140:1-9; Hebrews 10:1-25; John 19:1-37
Good Friday is all about Christ dying on the Cross. One more time that is the subject of the Gospel reading; one more time the Epistle reading links it to Christ’s ministry as a priest sanctifying his people; one more time the Psalm is a cry for help in the voice of Christ. And while we are invited, in the Epistle reading, to persevere in worship and faith in light of Christ’s sacrifice, the primary thing we are called to do is simply stop and look. The Old Testament reading tells the brief tale of the Israelites being afflicted, for their sins, by venomous serpents. We are told that the cure God offers them is by a bronze image of a serpent, lifted up on a pole, which the people must come to and look at. In the same way we go to Jesus, the perfect man, lifted up on a cross, and we look to him, and are cured of our sin. And in that moment of purifying intimacy we pray (as in the Collect) for God to look at us in return.