Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday

Prayers before the Icon of the Crucifixion

Today the one who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon the cross.
The one who is the king of angels receives a crown of thorns.
The one who wraps the heavens with cloud is wrapped in the purple cloak of mockery.
The one who set Adam free by his baptism in the Jordan is struck upon the face.
The bridegroom of the church is pierced with nails.
The son of the Virgin is pierced with a lance.
We venerate your passion O Christ!
Let us see as well your glorious resurrection!

Having beheld the resurrection of Christ, let us worship the holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one!
Your cross, O Christ, we venerate!
Your holy resurrection we glorify!
You are our God and we know no other.
We call upon your name!

Good Friday at Nashotah began in reverent silence.  The community choir practices every Thursday afternoon for this day.  We sang Anglican chant Gradual Psalm 22:1-2, 7-8, 14-21.  The Liturgy included the singing of the Passion according to St. John and the Solemn Collects, a particularly ancient form of the Prayers of the People, during which the Church remembers before God the world for which his Son died.  After the Collects, an unveiled Crucifix was carried into the Chapel by Dcn. Brad VanDeventer.  The congregation was invited to come forward to venerate the Cross.  The custom is to walk barefooted and to prostrate or genuflect (on both knees) three times while coming forward to kiss the Cross.  During this time the choir sang a glorious reproach called Veneration of the Cross; Agios O Theos.  It was a beautiful song.  I was honored to be among the choir this day.  The last element in the Liturgy of Good Friday is Communion from the Reserved Sacrament which is brought from the Altar of Repose.

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