with our friday fatigue

On Good Friday we hosted a neighbouring Anglican congregation in worship (next year that same congregation will host us). It meant that the Anglican priest was our powerful preacher. At University Hill the prayers are not led by the preacher. Since I am regularly the preacher it means that I rarely lead the prayers. However, on a day when I am not preaching it is my turn to offer prayer. The prayer of confession today took the form of the Solemn Reproaches of the Cross. My task was to speak the prayers of approach and of intercession on behalf of the congregation. Here they are ...


We come with our Friday fatigue
    and we join the earth in its Friday frailty
we are tempted by great anxiety
    and we easily find ourselves fearful

but then your messengers with your Word:
    Do not fear
    Do not be afraid
    I am with you

and we find ourselves confounded in gratitude,
    no longer afraid of Friday
    no longer desperate in our fatigue and frailty

fearful now only of You
    in awe of the wonders You work
    overwhelmed by the changes You intend
    captivated by Your future
    and in our captivity, finally free
    for You and for neighbour

we pray in the name of our rejected, betrayed neighbour
        your own flesh and blood, Jesus Christ. Amen.


You are the God of all our days
You are the giver of all our breaths
You are the receiver of all of our prayers

On this day, this last day, this Friday
We turn to You
Partners in grief and loss
Sharers in ache and tears

You are not beyond the fray
Of our great troubles
Of earth’s loud lamentations

So we add our voice to the cry
Lord, have mercy on the nations
Christ, have mercy on your church
Lord, have mercy on each soul

We cry out for the earth and all its creatures,
Entering a cruciform Friday of endings and extinctions
At the hands of humankind,
The ones You have named stewards of creation.
    Hear our prayer … and let our cry come unto you.

We remember your church,
Children of the risen Lord
Yet, also, deniers and betrayers of Jesus
Fleeing from the cross that he calls it to bear
    Hear our prayer … and let our cry come unto you.

We name the nations,
All nations, all peoples,
None are free from complicity in violence
All are tempted by idols to turn from your ways
    Hear our prayer … and let our cry come unto you.

We pray for all who suffer on this Friday
    For all who face illness and treatment
    For all who go hungry and without shelter
    For all who cannot cope
    For all who are oppressed
    For all who bear anxiety and depression
    For all who are addicted
    For all who cannot sleep
    For all who long to be reconciled
    For all who have been wronged
    For all who have done wrong
    For all who face death
    For all who we name aloud and in silence ...
        Hear our prayer … and let our cry come unto you.

 Passionate God,
    In Jesus Christ your passion has been revealed for all to see
    In him your suffering love is made known.
    In him we discover that your power to make new knows no bounds.

So we are your daring hopers,
    Waiting for You.
    Waiting in eager longing
    Waiting when death has done its deed
    Waiting when absence is all we know.
    Waiting in hope.

Come, Lord Jesus.

You who taught us, while we wait, to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name ...

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