GoodFridayA.14.4.2017

Revd Rex A E Hunt

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Rex A E Hunt 
When Progressives Gather Together:
Liturgy, Lectionary, Landscape… And Other Explorations.
Melbourne: Morning Star Publishing, 2016.

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A TIME OF REFLECTION ON GOOD FRIDAY
14 April 2017.  Good Friday A.

(While this Liturgy does not include a Sermon/Contemporary Exploration,
one from a past year can be found HERE)

Jim Burklo has some contemplations on the cross, found at
http://tcpc.blogs.com/musings/2011/04/artistic-contemplations-on-the-cross.html

And David Marr's 2014 piece on Australia's shameful policy on asylum seekers,
a Good Friday story if ever there was one, can be found at:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/mar/05/the-boats-always-come-back-and-when-they-do-australia-will-have-to-draw-on-fresh-reserves-of-cruelty


Acknowledgement of Country/First Peoples
(An act towards reconciliation)

For thousands of years Indigenous people have walked 
in this land, on their own country. 
Their relationship with the land is at the centre of their lives.

We acknowledge the (NN) People and their stewardship
of this land throughout the ages.


(NN) is a safe place for all people to worship regardless of
race, creed, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation


The Community Candle is Lit

Gathering   The people gather in silence.
A moveable cross approx. 2mts (6' 6"") tall is in place.
To move the cross will take four (4) persons

Silence

Greeting
We come here today to remember a man.  A man…
who had dreams,
who had those dreams shattered,
who needed time to think and pray,
who knew he was likely to die for what he believed…

A man of extraordinary religious insight.
A man who did die - a cruel death.

On this day we look at the cross, and we remember…
the betrayal of friendship and its consequences,
the casual cruelty of Roman authority and execution,
and how unreliable others proved to be in a crisis.

On this day may we also remember
that religious bigotry, cruelty and unreliability
are still a part of our everyday lives.

On this day, then, may we learn some new precepts for living…
do not avoid contact with suffering, or close your eyes before suffering;
do not maintain anger or hatred;
do not say untruthful things for the sake of personal interest, or to impress people;
do not live with a vocation that is harmful to humans and nature…

On this day we remember.  (Edited – M Dobson, M Morwood, Thich Nhat Hanh)

Hymn The people stand as they are able, to sing
"A Man of Ancient Time and Place(Tune: 'Tallis' Canon' 88 88, 443 TiS)
A man of ancient time and place
with foreign speech and foreign face,
reveals the glory, power and grace
of costly, unexpected love.

A rabbi, schooled in Moses’ Law,
a male, amending Herod’s flaw,
arouses wonder, rage and awe
with costly, unexpected love.

By teasing word and healing deed,
a leper touched, an outcast freed,
he bears the fruit and plants the seed
of costly, unexpected love.

The cost we barely can surmise
when, lifted up before our eyes,
the face of God we recognise
in crucified, unfathomed love.

May faith and hope within us grow,
the way of Christ to tell and show,
and may the Spirit breathe and blow
in costly, unexpected love.
  Brian Wren

OR

"Jesus Walked on to Calvary" (Tune: 'Crucifix, Jillian Bray)   21 PaT
Jesus walked on to Calvary,
resolute, raw with pain,
walked that road in his staggering suffering,
lashed by the crowd's disdain.

Many, many the Calvaries
killing the voice of peace,
those who bleed for the sake of God's righteousness,
victims of power's caprice.

Still there walk all the innocent,
prisoners of Pilate's play,
terror, torture, injustice's instruments,
darkening worlds today.

Many, many the company
following, ages long,
those who die in the name of God's promises,
souls who make weakness strong.

God, forgive all our faithlessness,
all we might do and say,
 God, redeem all our silence and apathy,
 laid at the Cross this Day.  
(Shirley Erena Murray)
Remain standing

Opening Sentences
In hope, in longing:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In solidarity with those who struggle:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In resistance to those who dominate:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In memory of Jesus, who lived with compassion:
All
We’re glad to come together.
In memory of all who act with courage:
All
We’re glad to come togetherJack Nelson-Pallmeyer

Hymn Great Prophet”  (Tune: St Denio’, 11 11 11 11, 143 TiS)   83 RP
Great prophet of pity, subversive in love,
unsettle our comfort, divert and reprove;
that, moved from self-interest, and shielded from pride,
we might yet embody the gifts of your bride.

Oh raise up your people and fit them to care,
for all who are lonely or lost in despair.
The reed that is bending, the wick that burns low,
through grace and persistence, God, help them to grow.

From each generation, race, colour or creed,
Christ, gather together, united by need,
the ones that you value, and God, may we find,
in spite of ourselves that your welcome is kind. 
Andrew Pratt
The people sit

Reading 1

Luke 23:1-32   (Inclusive text)

v2 The elders of the people and the chief priests and scribes rose,
and they brought Jesus
before Pilate.

They began their accusation by saying,
"We found this man inciting our people to revolt, opposing payment of tribute to Caesar,
and claiming to be Christ, a king."

Pilate put Jesus this question,
"Are you the king of the Jews?"

"It is you who say it," Jesus replied.

(The following reflections are adaptions from Michael Morwood's book - details below)

Reflection 1
v3 I remember a man who had dreams of what might be:
that people would be set free from ideas and images
about God that enslaved them,
that people would believe that through their everyday acts of human kindness
they are intimately connected with the sacred,
that people would live
'in peace, in God's presence all the days of their lives'

I remember a man driven by his dreams.

Silence

Reading 2

v2 Pilate then said to the chief priests and the crowds,
"I find no case against this man.”

But they persisted,
"He is inflaming the people with his teaching all over Judea;
it has come all the way from Galilee, where he began, down to here."

Reflection 2
v4 I remember a man who had his moments of breakthrough,
when it must have seemed his dream was being realised:
the times people really listened and responded,
the men and women who were prepared to walk with him and support him,
times when he spoke better and more convincingly  than other times.

I remember a man enthused by his successes.

Silence

Hymn  In solidarity with those for whom standing is not easy or possible we will remain seated to sing...
On Friday, When the Sky was Dark”  (Tune: CM, 'Richmond 86 86)
On Friday, when the sky was dark,
disciples fled in fright
and dazed, through Saturday, they wait
the dawn of Sunday's light.

From dull despair to blazing light,
from agony and death,
God's people sought for grace and hope,
and for the Spirit's breath.

The silent waking of the Christ
brought all the world to praise,
as death was done and life re-born
with hope for all our days.

That hope returns with each new year,
the prompt for faith's re-birth
and brighter than a thousand suns
God's glory flames on earth!

As new life forces through the earth,
the world is sprung with green,
and all creation rings again
as joy is sung and seen. 
© Andrew Pratt 21/3/2005

Reading 3

v2 When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean.
And finding that he came under Herod’s jurisdiction, he passed him over to Herod
who was also in Jerusalem at that time.

Herod was delighted to see Jesus;
he had heard about him and had been wanting for a long time to set eyes on him;
he was hoping to see some miracle worked by Jesus.

So Herod questioned Jesus at some length, but without getting a reply.

Reflection 3
v5 I remember a man who learned of the cruel death of his cousin.
He got into a boat, seeking a lonely place, where he could be with his friends
to absorb the shock,
to grieve quietly,
and to calm the feelings of powerlessness and frustration and fear for his own future.

I wonder what he prayed about that night?
I wonder what helped him leave that lonely place
and go forward to confront life,
rather than retreat into isolation and safety?

I remember a man driven by his convictions.

Silence

Reading 4

v2 Then Herod, together with his guards, treated Jesus with contempt and made fun him;
Herod put a rich cloak on Jesus, and sent him back to Pilate.
And though Herod and Pilate had been enemies before,
they were reconciled that same day.

 Pilate then summoned the chief priests and the leaders and the people.
"You brought this man before me," Pilate said. "as a political agitator.

"Now I have gone into the matter myself in your presence and found no case against him
in respect of all the charges you bring against him.

"Nor has Herod either, since he has sent him back to us.
As you can see, the man has done nothing that deserve death,
so I shall have him flogged and then let him go."

 But altogether they howled,
"Away with him!  Give us Barabbas!"

Pilate was anxious to set Jesus free and addressed them again,
but they shouted back, "Crucify, crucify him!"

Reflection 4
v6 I remember a man whose dream was shattered:
who broke down and cried over what could have been,
who knew the pain of failure and powerlessness,
who knew what it was like to feel broken and terribly alone.

I remember someone human like all of us.

Silence

Reading 5

v2 Pilate then gave a verdict: their demand was to be granted.
Pilate released Barabbas whom they asked for and who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder,
and handed Jesus over to them to deal with as they pleased.

Reflection 5
v7 I remember a man who knew he was going to die:
who gathered with his friends knowing it was for the last time,
who spoke to them about what he really believed,
who wanted them to remember him and to keep his dream alive.

I remember a testament to love.

Silence

Music of Reflection

Reading 6

Luke 23:33   (Inclusive Text)

When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the two criminals also,
one on the right, the other on the left.

Reflection 6
v7 I remember a man crucified.
He was a failure, abandoned by his male friends, taunted, despised,
enduring a shameful and agonising death,
no consoling or heartfelt presence of his God to help him.

I remember a man whose faith in all he believed was tested to the limits.

Meditation
"A Time of Preparation and Change"
Adapted from Trisha Watts. Sanctuary. Where Heaven Touches Earth.

…the leaves are falling around us
through days growing ever
clearer and more barren.

Surrounded by little deaths,
the drying of the grass
and shrivelling of the flowers,
we gather our lives in
like the harvest.

Our friendships,
our experiences,
our achievements
we wrap around ourselves,
against the coldness which is to come.
For in this time,
our lives will be lived within.

Like the grapes that are harvested
in happy sunlight,
turning to wine in dark cellars,
our thoughts will transform
and grow richer.

Come, Spirit of Mysteries,
into the centre of our containment.
Grow treasure from within us.

OR

"Good Friday"
(Unknown)

Jesus,
Prince of Peace,
humble and riding on a donkey.

Jesus,
Disturber of the peace,
you upset bad religion
when it gets in the way of God.

Jesus,
upsetter of the self-righteous,
you turn questions on their head,
offering no instant answers,
but showing the way.

Jesus,
lover of the lost,
you say “forgive”
when we want to shout “condemn!”

Jesus,
host at the table,
you share your best
even in the face of our worst.

Jesus,
Saviour of the world
…yes, even the world
which wants you
until it meets you.

OR

"This Planet of Pain"
Bruce Sanguin. If Darwin Prayed/63

Now we open
to the story of the Crucified and Risen One,
arms stretched out
across the chasms of fear,
pulling factions into his own broken body,
closer to his pierced heart,
so that this planet of pain
may one day claim as its own
the love flowing out from that
sacred, broken heart.

Yes, pull us in, Spirit of the Living God,
into the Heart of our hearts,
that we might once and for all
lay down our arsenals of fear
and take up our tools
to build the kin-dom of God
for the sake of all creation.

Silence

Cross 1  A large cross is lifted from the cradle and held by four people/men

Shroud  A white cloth shroud is put in place by four women
The cross is carried horizontal and placed on the white cloth shroud

Silence

The Gift of 'paper' Petals and Autumn Leaves
The women’s prominence at the cross stands in contrast to the men.
And having women as witnesses
was part of a consistent subversiveness
which belonged at the heart of Jesus’ approach.

Therefore, remembering the stories.
And remembering the death of innocent, fragile things in the world around us...
I invite the women of the congregation to come
and scatter some 'petals' and leaves
over the cross, as our witnesses.
The women of the congregation come forward and scatter paper 'petals' and gum leaves over the cross

The Gift of Fragrant Oil
Some fragrant essence/oil is sprinkled over the leaves by one of the women, reminding all of the gift of the unnamed woman

Hymn  The people stand as they are able, to sing
Perfect Singer”  (Tune: ‘Catherine’, 77 77)    332 SLT
Perfect Singer, songs of earth
rise on every field and hearth;
let our voices sound again
ancient songs of joy and pain.

All your creatures strive for life
suffer hurt in angry strife,
seek compassion, find release
in the covenant of peace.

Sing a sacred melody
for the justice that shall be;
let our harmonies resolve
dissonance in steadfast love.

Steadfast Seeker, find our song
woven into lives made strong;
let the patterns of surprise
kindle hope with each sunrise. 
George K Beach

OR

"Jesus Story - The Role Model" (Tune: 'Irish' 86 86, 126 TiS)     29 SNS3
The Jesus story is the one
Which shows me how to live;
This Jesus story is the one
That prompts me to forgive.

This story tells me of a man
Who called the outcast 'Friend';
Compassion was the way he lived;
His loving knew no end.

When faced with wrong he did not flinch,
But struggled for the right;
He always lived by what he taught,
And would not turn to spite.

He never looked for pers'nal gain.
Nor empty hollow praise;
I look to his integrity
And follow in his ways.

This Jesus story is the one
Which urges me to show
In every word and every deed
His love lived long ago.  (George Stuart)

Reflection 7
v8 I remember a man of extraordinary religious insight:
utterly convinced of the connectedness
between human loving and living in God,
determined to give people personal authority in their relationship with God,
wanting to set people free from fear of the unknown,
setting his heart on breaking down barriers between people...

We give thanks for the ways
in which the life, teaching, and death of Jesus, have set us free.

Silence

v1 Jesus provides a glimpse into another this-world reality.
His vision is worth exploring.

For I am encouraged to celebrate life,
to suck the marrow out of existence, to explore, and probe,
and experiment, to venture into unchartered seas,
without fear of a tyrannical and vindictive God.

He does not set limits on my curiosity…  (Robert Funk/adapted)

Silence

An Affirmation of Faith  (Optional)
It is now time for us to leave this place.
Let us commend ourselves into the hands of God.
The people stand as they are able

v1 We believe in God around us,
v2 Dreamer and sustainer of life.
All  When there was nothing but an ocean of tears,
God sighed over the waters and dreamed a small dream:
light in the darkness,
a small planet in space.

v1 We believe in God beside us,
v2 Jesus as the Christ, dream made flesh.
All  When hate and fear were raging, when love was beaten down,
when hope was nailed and left to die,
Christ entered into our deep secret places
and went down into our death to find us.

v1 We believe in God within us,
v2 Spirit who empowers the dream.
All  Who weeps with us in our despair,
who breathes on prison doors, never admitting it's hopeless,
always expecting the bars to bend and sway
and break forth into blossom.
  (Adapt./DMcRae-McMahon/eoj)

OR

"Autumn Passion”
Peter Matheson. Eureka Street, Vol 18, No. 6 18 March 2008

v1  Bright autumn Christ,
The silver birch,
The bell-bird's call,
The vibrant light,
The glory through
The pain.

v2  Sharp autumn Christ
The fallen leaves,
The slanting sun,
The hint of frost,
Toll for the life
That's gone.

v3  Dark autumn Christ
The broken branch,
The weeping tree,
The whole sad
Earth gasps
Piteously.

v4  High autumn Christ
The teacher gagged,
The friend betrayed,
The healer hung,
The saviour
Torn.

v5  Rich autumn Christ
The hill is climbed,
The hate disarmed,
The fear is gone,
The battle
Won.

v6  Sweet autumn Christ,
The rose-red blood,
The rowan tree,
God's heaven aflame
In love
For me.

Silence

Sending Out
Now... go in peace and faith.
For nothing can separate you from the love and source of life - God.
Community Candle is extinguished

Hymn "Lift High the Cross(Tune AHB 271)    87 AA
Refrain:
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore his glorious name!

Come, Christian people, sing your praises, shout!
If we are silent, even stones cry out...
Refrain:

Jesus, you wept to see our human strife,
teach us compassion for each human life...
Refrain:

Peace was your plea and peace your loving theme
let peace be our passport, peace a living dream...
Refrain:

Great is the cost of walking on this road,
to follow and suffer with the Son of God...
Refrain:

Worlds to be born and children yet to be
come, take up this song into eternity...
Refrain:   
(Shirley Erena Murray)

OR

There Shall Be Life and Love”  (Tune: ‘Taranaki’, Judith Thornley) 134 HoS
There shall be life and love,
there shall be joy and fun,
God’s beauty shall unfold,
God’s justice shall be done.
And the cross shall be the sign
of the death that brings new birth;
yes, the tomb shall host the life
that links us all to Earth.

There shall be tender care
healing the wounded soil,
there shall be rainbow peace
bringing us rest from toil.
For the cross shall be the sign
of the death that brings new birth
and compassion free the life
that greens the face of Earth.

Love shall encircle all,
drawing us ever on,
sap shall arise within,
herald of Spring’s new dawn.
For the cross shall be the sign
of the death that brings new birth
and this Earth provide the womb
that gives all life its worth.  (William L Wallace)

OR

"Giving Respect to Humankind" (Tune: 'Warrington', 88 88)     60 SNS2
Giving respect to humankind
Is wise and good for there we find
Images of the God we praise
And love expressed in countless ways.

Giving respect to humankind
Can help us all to leave behind
Thoughts of revenge and words of spite;
Can prompt resolve to re-unite.

Giving respect to humankind
Arises from our heart and mind;
As we reflect on those we know
May caring thoughts have constant flow.

Giving respect to humankind
Is Jesus' theme; His word defined
How we might live affirming all
The human beauty in us all.

So let us honour humankind
With God's own image, so combined,
We find ourselves equipped to prize
The gentle, lovely, kind and wise.  (George Stuart)
People leave the worship space in silence as and when they are ready


You are invited to keep this copy of the liturgy and take it home with you
to share with another member of your family, or with a friend

I recommend the use of
LicenSing - Copyright cleared music for churches


Some of the resources used in shaping this liturgy: 
(AA) Alleluia Aotearoa. Hymns and Songs for all Churches. Raumati. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 1993.
Dobson, M. Multi-coloured Maze. Drama, Hymns, Prayers and Poems for Worship and Everyday living. London. Stainer & Bell, 2004.
Duncan, G. (ed). Let Justice Roll Down. A Worship Resource for Lent, Holy Week & Easter. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press, 2003.
Funk, R. W. Honest to Jesus. Jesus for a new millennium. New York. HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.
(HoS) Hope Is Our Song. New Hymns and Songs from Aotearoa New Zealand. Palmerston North. New Zealand Hymnbook Trust, 2009.
Inclusive Readings. Year C. Brisbane. Inclusive Language Project. In private circulation, 2003.
Morwood, M. Praying a New Story. Richmond. Spectrum Publications, 2003.
(PaT) Murray, S. E. A Place at the Table. New Hymns written between 2009 and 2013. Carol Stream: Hope Publishing, 2013.
McRae-McMahon, D. Echoes of our Journey. Liturgies of the People. Melbourne. JBCE, 1993.
Nelson-Pallmeyer, J. & B. Hesle. Worship in the Spirit of Jesus. Theology, Liturgy, and Songs without Violence. Cleveland. The Pilgrim Press, 2005.
(RP) Pratt, A. Reclaiming Praise. Hymns from a spiritual journey. London. Stainer & Bell Ltd, 2006.
Sanguin, B. If Darwin Prayed. Prayers for Evolutionary Mystics. Vancouver: EOS, 2010.
(SLT) Singing the Living Tradition. Boston. UUA, 1993.
(SNS3) Stuart, G. Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with New Century lyrics. Volume 3. NSW: Toronto. G Stuart, 2011.
(SNS2) Stuart, G. Singing a New Song. Traditional hymn tunes with New Century lyrics. Volume 2. NSW: Toronto. G Stuart, 2009.
Watts, T. & G. Lord. Sanctuary. Where Heaven Touches Earth. A Group Resource for those seeking Simplicity, Silence, and Nurture. Kelowna. Wood Lake Books, 2005.

Web sites/Other:
"On Friday...". Andrew Pratt. Hymnsandwords blog. UK.
Stainer & Bell Ltd. Web site: hymns.uk.com

rexae74@gmail.com