Tagged: Good Friday

Hosanna! Crucify!


Last Sunday was, of course, Palm Sunday. Jesus arrives in Jerusalem and is hailed as a king before he is nailed to a cross as a criminal. It’s a day when we get two gospel readings, as if we can’t quite make up our minds where the emphasis of the day lies. We begin with the Palm Gospel, and set off singing away waving our palm crosses. Then we get the Passion Gospel, and come face to face with the reality of the cross. Here’s what I said.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

I first read that at school! And it seems to me that Charles Dickens could have been writing about Palm Sunday. Continue reading

Holy Cross Day

A little late, but here is the sermon that the priest I live with preached for Holy Cross Day here at St John’s.

On this day, the 14th September, one thousand six hundred and seventy nine years ago, a part of the cross of Jesus, discovered by Saint Helena, was taken out from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem – out from the church which had been dedicated just the day before – taken outside so that all the believers in Jesus Christ could come and venerate it. Holy Cross Day is kept on this day to commemorate that event. And this year there seems to be a rather satisfactory symmetry about the date. It is of course today the 14th September 2014, and it so happens that the 14th September this year is a Sunday, so we can gather here together at our normal Sunday service on Holy Cross Day itself, to both commemorate that occasion in 335AD and to celebrate together the life giving cross of Jesus. It is appropriate too that we should have a baptism in our service today, as later I will sign N. with the sign of the Cross. How wonderful for her to be given that sign on Holy Cross Day. Continue reading

Good Friday Reflections – 6 Sermon at the Good Friday Liturgy

Here’s the sermon given by Mother Anne-Marie at our Good Friday Liturgy. This service followed on at 2pm from the series of sermons, hymns and reflections that began at 12 noon. It includes the reading of the whole of the Passion from Saint John’s Gospel.

John 18.1-19.42

In the talks that preceded this liturgy, we have, with the help of Paula Gooder’s book “Journey to the Empty Tomb”, looked at some of the biblical passages about the last week of Jesus’ life and some of the characters that emerge from the text. We saw how some of those closest to Jesus failed him – notably Judas and Peter; and how some people, totally unknown, emerged to help him or affirm who he was – Simon of Cyrene and the Centurion. Continue reading

Good Friday Reflections – 5 The Empty Tomb

Mark 16.1-8

Talk by Mother Anne-Marie

The Empty Tomb

If you have been here since 12 noon, you will know that in the four previous talks, as well as looking at some interesting points in the gospel texts, we have focused on certain disciples or sympathizers of Jesus. We have looked at the Palm Sunday crowd, at Judas Iscariot, at Peter, at Simon of Cyrene and the Centurion. So far we have been very male orientated, even though the Palm Sunday crowd would have had women in it. Continue reading

Good Friday Reflections – 4 The Crucifixion

Matthew 27.32-37, 45-54

Talk by Mother Anne-Marie

The Crucifixion

In this talk I am going to introduce immediately the two disciples (and they are disciples with a question mark) to whom I want to draw our attention. They are both mentioned in the reading we have just heard – Simon of Cyrene and the Centurion.

Simon of Cyrene is an intriguing and somewhat mysterious figure. He appears from nowhere – seemingly commandeered into service – and then he disappears again from the story. Continue reading

Good Friday Reflections – 3 Gethsemane and the Trials

Mark 14.26-34

Talk by Mother Anne-Marie

Gethsemane and the trials

In our mind’s eye Gethsemane is a garden, but neither Mark nor Matthew who give us the name Gethsemane mention a garden. John says Jesus went to a garden but does not say it is Gethsemane. In the tradition we have combined the two and it has become the Garden of Gethsemane. Continue reading

Good Friday Reflections – 2 The Last Supper

Luke 22.14-23

Talk by Mother Anne-Marie

The Last Supper

Our image of the Last Supper is highly influenced by the pictures we have seen – Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting is probably the most notable influence. In our mind’s eye, the twelve disciples are sitting in a long line on one side of the table with Jesus in the middle. It is what happens in TV drama. If you are watching one of the soaps, the family sit around the table with a gap on one side so that the camera can move in and everyone can be seen in one shot. Continue reading

Good Friday Reflections – 1 Towards Jerusalem

On Good Friday we have a series of talks followed by the Good Friday Liturgy. This year Mother Anne-Marie gave the talks and they were based on Paula Gooder’s book Journey to the Empty Tomb. Each talk was preceded by a modern hymn and then a Scripture reading.

Mark 11.1-2, 7-10

Talk by Mother Anne-Marie

Introduction and Towards Jerusalem

“Journey to the Empty Tomb”, the book that is the inspiration for these Good Friday talks, is a book that looks at the biblical accounts of the last week of Jesus’s life. It is scholarly, in that it looks at the Gospel texts and examines them closely, especially their similarities and differences. But it is also a book that draws us into prayerful reflection, so it is designed to be both informative and devotional. The expectation is that it will be read during Lent or in Holy Week.

Paula Gooder, the author, is a freelance lecturer and writer in Biblical Studies. A fuller biography is on the back of the sheet. I have heard Paula speak on several occasions. Continue reading

In Christ Alone

Stuart Townend sings the worship hymn In Christ Alone.

The priest I live with, Mother Anne-Marie, used this hymn as the basis of her Good Friday talks. You can read them here:

  1. In Christ alone my hope is found
  2. Scorned by the ones he came to save
  3. Light of the world by darkness slain
  4. He stands in victory
  5. Here in the power of Christ I stand
  6. Sermon at the Good Friday Liturgy

Good Friday 6/6 – Sermon from the Good Friday Liturgy

This year on Good Friday, the priest I live with, Mother Anne-Marie, preached a series of sermons interspersed with prayer and silence on the hymn ‘In Christ Alone’. She concluded with this sermon at the Good Friday Liturgy.

During the two hours before this service we have been reflecting on the Stuart Townend and Keith Getty hymn “In Christ Alone” – in Christ alone my hope is found – so goes its first line.

Continue reading