Hello everyone! This morning I
got up in good time, did the washing, my exercises and set off for the Good
Friday Service. It was a time of
reflection and meditation interspersed by music; it gave me time to rest in our
Lord’s presence. The service began with music
– Oboe Concerto Op No 5 (Albinoni) which led beautifully into the introduction
to the service. We all sang ‘In the
cross of Christ I glory’ which set the scene.
The first short reading described how the disciples followed Jesus out
from the table, where they had shared the last supper, to the garden. While Jesus prayed the disciples slept. I can understand how the disciples could not
keep awake, as I often find it difficult to keep awake in the evening, however
hard I struggle.
The prayer of Jesus’ struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane was the next
reading from Luke 22v39-41, when Jesus chose to do his Father’s will. ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ (Morricone) was played as we
meditated on Jesus’ struggle. The arrest
of Jesus with a kiss was our next focus.
We were reminded too of Peter’s denial, which added to the isolation of
our Lord. Luke 22v47 and 52-54a were
read which described the arrest.
The next focus was Jesus’ trial when he did not reply to their
accusations, remaining silent. The reading from John 19v1-7 described Jesus’
treatment at the hand of Pilate who somewhat reluctantly condemned him to be
crucified. We meditated on the trial as we listened to ‘Aase’s Death (Grieg).
He was not guilty but he was an embarrassment, so his own people
determined his fate by shouting for his crucifixion. After being whipped and humiliated he had to
carry his own cross, so stumbling and falling he made his way to Calvary. The crucifixion
as described by John 19v16-22 & 25b-27 was read and we listened to ‘Stabat
Mater’ (Pergolest) which describes Jesus’ mother standing at the foot of the
cross. His mother watched and waited,
watched and waited, while soldiers gambled, critics joked, religious leaders
smiled with satisfaction, as Jesus was left to die, until in the end she saw a
sign of the beginning. The final words
of Jesus are read from Luke 23 v46-47 and we all join and sing Hymn no 165 ‘Beneath
the cross of Jesus’
There is silence then ‘Ave Verum Corpus (Mozart)’ is played as we
reflect on his death. Our minister leads
a reflection on the significance of Good Friday. ‘Bless the Lord my Soul (Taize)’ played as we
meditated on the day. Prayers were led for the world and we all joined in with the
Lord’s Prayer. We sang ‘Be thou my
vision’ and following the closing prayers the ‘Double oboe Concerto Op.9: No 12
(Alinoni) and Horn Concerto No 4 (Mozart) completed the meditation. Words from ‘Stages on the Way’ by Wild Goose
Publications were used in the meditations.
I found the program on BBC 1 ‘The Day Jesus died’ was also very well
done. It was a fascinating look at the
history of the church’s views on his death.
This evening on Radio 2 the meditation and music ‘At the Foot of the
Cross’ was very meaningful too. This is
the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.