Web Meditation 31 March 2009
The Good Friday liturgy, often called the Solemn Collects, is an interesting service. It is a solemn liturgy because we only do it once a year. The collects are the prayers that we say that take up the bulk of the service. Most worship services in the Episcopal church are celebrations of the Eucharist, a.k.a. the Lord's Supper, on Good Friday we do not celebrate the Eucharist, because we try to symbolically imagine a world where God has died. After the Maundy Thursday service the night before, the Altar is stripped and washed. All of the reserve sacrament, the bread and wine, is consumed. In this space where the evidence of things unseen has been removed we gather on Good Friday to pray for the world.
Lent is a journey from being inwardly focused on oneself to being outwardly focused on the world as Jesus was. See, we started Lent way back on Ash Wednesday remembering how far away from God we are, the degree to which our sin separates us from God. We have metaphorically journeyed with Jesus to Jerusalem these forty days. Maundy Thursday we literally follow his command to wash each others feet. In the Gospel of John, Jesus prays for the world just before he is taken into custody. On Good Friday we continue our journey of becoming Christ like by praying the world as he did. In Jesus' darkest hour he prayed for others. In our darkest hour of worship, when all the rich color and decoration has been removed, when the presence of Christ in the form of the sacrament is gone, we pray for the world. From an inward recognition of our sins on Ash Wednesday to an outward prayer for sake all creation we have journeyed through Lent. We are almost to Easter at this point. Keep praying! Stay on the Journey!
Our Good Friday service will be on the 10th of April at 6:00 p.m. Look forward to seeing you there.
This meditation is also posted on the website of the Church of the Resurrection.