From "The terrible silencing we cannot master" by Walter Brueggemann, Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth


Holy God who hovers daily round us in fidelity and compassion,
this day we are mindful of another, dread-filled hovering,
that of the power of death before which we stand thin and needful.
All our days, we are mindful of the pieces of our lives
and the parts of your world
that are on the loose in destructive ways.
We notice that wildness midst our fear and our anger unresolved.
We mark it in a world of brutality and poverty and hunger all around us.
We notice all our days.

But on this day of all days,
that great threat looms so large and powerful.
It is not for nothing that we tremble at these three hours of darkness and the raging earthquake.
It is not for nothing that we have a sense of our helplessness
before the dread power of death that has broken loose
and that struts against our interest and even against our will.
Our whole life is not unlike the playground in the village,
lovely and delightful and filled with squeals unafraid,
and then we remember the silencing of all those squeals
in death, that are swept away in a riddle too deep for knowing.
Our whole life is like that playground
and on this dread-filled Friday we pause before
the terrible silencing we cannot master.

So we come in our helpless candor this day ...
remembering, giving thanks, celebrating ...
but not for one instant unmindful of dangers too ominous
and powers too sturdy and threats well beyond us.

We turn eventually from our hurt for children lost.
We turn finally from all our unresolved losses
to the cosmic grief at the loss of Jesus.
We recall and relive that wrenching Friday
when the hurt cut to your heart.
We see in that terrible hurt, our losses
and your full embrace of loss and defeat.

We dare pray while the darkness descends
and the earthquake trembles,
we dare pray for eyes to see fully
and mouths to speak fully the power of death all around,
we dare pray for a capacity to notice unflinching
that in our happy playgrounds other children die,
and grow silent,
we pray more for your notice and your promise
and your healing.

Our only urging on Friday is that you live this as we must
impacted but not destroyed,
dimmed but not quenched.
For your great staying power
and your promise of newness we praise you.
It is in your power
and your promise that we take our stand this day.
We dare trust that Friday is never the last day,
so we watch for the new day of life.
Hear our prayer and be your full self toward us.

The dripping blood our only drink, The bloody flesh our only food: In spite of which we like to think That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood-- Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.
T.S. Eliot

Good Friday Liturgy

Spend time praying the following liturgy and scripture.

O Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you
as the day rises to meet the sun.

Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Come, let us bow down and bend the knee: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

(Common Prayer: A Liturgy of Ordinary Radicals)

He who hung the earth upon the waters, today he is hung upon the cross.

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?:
and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?
O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer:
by night as well, but I find no rest.
Yet you are he who took me out of the womb:
and kept me safe upon my mother’s breast.
I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born:
you were my God when I was still in my mother’s womb.
Be not far from me, for trouble is near:
and there is none to help.
Psalm 22:1–2, 9–11

He who hung the earth upon the waters, today he is hung upon the cross.

He will swallow up death forever.

At this time read the following passages:

Genesis 22:1–18
John 19:1–37

He who hung the earth upon the waters, today he is hung upon the cross.

Then use this time to pray for any who come to mind.

Finish praying by continuing on reading the liturgy:

Our Father
While we were still your enemies, Lord Jesus Christ, you suffered and died for us, winning the victory over death for our sakes. Give us grace to lift you up as we follow the way of your cross so that all people may be drawn unto you. Amen.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing,
at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing,
once again into our doors.

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help? Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief.
Psalm 22:1-2