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Good Friday
Time of Prayer

Created by Cindy Voth
Welcome:

Welcome to this time of prayer on Good Friday. You are invited to come and sit in the presence of God, and to reflect and dwell on the death of our Savior, Jesus Christ. During this time may you be challenged to employ your imagination as you journey with Jesus to the cross.

This prayer booklet is meant to be a guide. It is divided into three sections – Centering Prayer, Stations of the Cross, and Intercessory Prayer. You may choose to go through one of the sections, all of the sections, or you may choose to simply come and sit in the presence of God. At any point you may come and pray at the foot of the cross. Also at any time you are invited, if you desire, to light a candle by the cross as you dwell in Christ’s death.


Centering Prayer

Spend several minutes in silence allowing yourself to fully arrive here to the place of prayer on Good Friday. Take several deep breaths as you become comfortable in your chair. Spend some time simply looking at the various worship stations, the crosses, the candles, and the nails.

Matthew 27:22-23, 27-31

“What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked.
The crowd answered, “Crucify him!”
“Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. Then they led him away to crucify him.

You are invited to come forward to pray at the foot of the cross. Perhaps you want to take this opportunity to thank Jesus for being willing to die so that we might be able to experience forgiveness and salvation. Perhaps you simply want to be near to the cross as you reflect on the cruelty it represents.

You are also invited to light a candle as you remember the death of Jesus.

Take time to be silent in the presence of God and to stop and dwell with Jesus on his journey to the cross – the place where he was crucified for you and for me, and for the entire world.

Stations of the Cross

 Introduction and Brief History

The Stations of the Cross began as an actual journey through Jerusalem, retracing the steps that were believed to have been taken by Jesus on his way to be crucified. Over the centuries the number of stations has changed, and there is not a set number of stations that must be included. This prayer form is believed to have originated in the 4 th century, but even before that Jesus’ disciples and followers retraced his steps to Golgotha. The term station carries the meaning that this signifies a place where one should stop and meditate. The invitation is to move through the stations at a reflective pace, employing your imagination at each of the stations.

Station 1: Jesus is Condemned to Die

By now Jesus has appeared before the Sanhedrin, made up of the high priests, elders and teachers of the laws. The Sanhedrin declared that he is worthy of death, and now Jesus stands before Pilate. Pilate wants to release Jesus, and so he asks the crowd what to do. The crowd responds by shouting “Crucify him, Crucify him.” Here Jesus is condemned to die. Envision the angry cheering crowds, shouting “Crucify him!” Envision the scene where Jesus is condemned to die upon the cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 2: Jesus Carries the Cross

Blood is running down his forehead from the crown of thorns upon his head. Jesus is clothed in a scarlet robe as the soldiers mock him and say “Hail, king of the Jews.” Jesus is spit upon and beaten. His clothes are soaked by his own blood from the wounds upon his back. Then he is given the instrument of his death, the cross. The crossbeam he was forced to carry would have weighed around one hundred pounds. The rough wood digs into his skin, and reopens the old wounds. Jesus is exhausted. He has lost a lot of blood.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 3: Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross

The Romans soldiers had the right to ask any citizen or visitor to carry the cross for someone if they could not carry it. Simon of Cyrene is forced to carry the cross of Jesus. The heavy cross beam is transferred from Jesus’ shoulders to Simon’s. Jesus’ blood on the cross is now resting upon Simon’s shoulders.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 4: Jesus’ Belongings are Divided by Lots

Jesus was led to Golgotha, the place called The Skull. There he was stripped of all his clothes because that was part of the shame in being crucified. Although his clothes were taken from him, his mission that led him to Golgotha remained. The custom was for the guards to divide a criminal’s clothes among them, and so they did so with Jesus’ garments. This action fulfilled the prophecy of Psalms 22:18, “They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.” In this action we see the effects of greed as the guards strive to win the garments of the man who is preparing to be nailed to the cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 5: Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

Jesus was led to Golgotha, the place called The Skull. There he was nailed to the cross. Long nails were hammered through his wrists, and one through his feet. During this Jesus prays, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Even in the middle of his deepest pain, and as he faces death, Jesus prays for those who are killing him. The crowd remains – watching Jesus take painful, slow breaths. The crowd continues to mock him, and challenge him that if he is Son of God for him to come down off the cross and save himself. Jesus could have decided to come down off the cross, and to save himself, but yet he made the decision to die that we might experience salvation.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 6: Jesus Speaks to the Two Criminals

Jesus was crucified between two criminals. While they were hanging on their crosses, one criminal hurled insults at Jesus, “Aren’t you Christ? Save yourself and us!”

The other criminal rebuked him, declaring “we are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then this second criminal said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus, as he is nailed to the cross, dying, shows mercy and answers him, “I tell you the trust, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Spend some time in prayer voicing our own needs for salvation to Jesus, and spend some time thanking Jesus for his mercy and grace.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Station 7: Jesus dies

We have journeyed with Jesus through being condemned to die, receiving his cross, Simon of Cyrene helping him carry his cross, having his garments divided by lots, being nailed to the cross, and Jesus speaking to the to criminals. Now we come to the end, the place where Jesus breaths his last breath.

It was now the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit,” When he had said this, he breathed his last breath. Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, has died. Here Jesus’ journey to the cross ends in his death.

Spend some time simply dwelling in the reality that Jesus, our Savior and King, died upon the cross.

We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.

Invitation to pray at the cross

You are invited to come and sit at the foot of the cross, and to continue to dwell in Christ’s suffering and death. During this time you are also invited to light a candle to signify your journey to the cross with Jesus.

Intercessory Prayer:

Before Jesus is arrested and condemned to die, he prays for all Believers (John 17:20-21, 25-26).

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Jesus did continue to make his Father known to the world as he willingly bore the cross, our sins, and was crucified.

Intercessory Prayer Ideas:

Resources:

Freeman, Eileen Elizabeth, ed. The Holy Week Book. San Jose, CA: Resource Publications, 1979.

Kirkpatrick, Kathy Newell. A Time between Hosanna and Alleluia: Educational Ministries, Inc., 1994.

Marcheschi, Graziano. The Way of the Cross. Chicago, IL: GIA Publications, Inc., 1992.

 The Way of the Cross: Leader and Reader Edition . Chicago, IL: Archdiocese of Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 2003.

 

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