HOLY WEDNESDAY

Detail Lamb of God by van Eyck

Invitation to  Worship

The Lamb of God is slain for us:

Come, let us follow him on the Way of the Cross

 

O Holy One,+ open my lips.

~And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

 

O God, come to my assistance;

~Adonai, make haste to help me!

 

Hymn for Holy Week 

O Christ who through this holy week Did suffer for us all,

The sick to cure, the lost to seek, To raise up those who fall.

 

We cannot understand the woe Your love was pleased to bear;

O Lamb of God, we only know That all our hopes are there.

 

Your feet the path of suffering trod; Your hand the victory won;

How can we thank you, Son of God For all that you have done!

Text: John Mason Neale, alt.; Tune: WALSALL, C.M.

 

 

PSALMODY

Antiphon

If we have died with Christ, we shall also live with him.

Canticle of Hannah    I Samuel 2:1-10

My heart exults in Adonai

my horn is exalted in my God.

I have swallowed up my enemies;

I rejoice in my victory.

There is no Holy One like Adonai;

there is no Rock like our God.

 

Speak boastfully no longer,

nor let arrogance issue from your mouths.

For an all-knowing God is Adonai,

a God who judges deeds.

 

The bows of the mighty are broken,

while the tottering gird on strength.

The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,

while the hungry are finally full.

The barren wife bears seven children,

while the mother or many languishes.

 

Adonai gives both life and death;

casts down to Sheol and raises up again.

Adonai allots poverty and riches,

humbles the proud and exalts the lowly;

 

Raises the needy from the dust

from the ash heap raises the poor,

to seat them among those who lead,

and to make them a glorious throne.

 

The pillars of Earth belong to Adonai,

who set the world upon them.

God will guard the footsteps of the faithful,

while the wicked refuse to walk in light.

For by human strength no one prevails;

the enemies of Love run towards self-destruction.

 

The Most High in heaven thunders;

Adonai judges the ends of the earth.

Now may God give strength to our leader,

and exalt the horn of the Anointed.

 

If we have died with Christ, we shall also live with him.

 

 

 

 

READING         Hebrews 9: 24-28

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf. Not that he might offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary with blood that is not his own; if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly from the foundation of the world. But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages to take away sin by his sacrifice. Just as it is appointed that human beings die once, and after this the judgment,so also Christ, offered once to take away the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to take away sin but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

 

Responsory

R. Christ has entered the sanctuary once and for all, *he has won for us an eternal redemption.  V.  He entered, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood; *he has won for  us an eternal redemption. V. Glory to the Abba and the Word and the Holy Breath of Love.

 

 

Canticle of Zachariah

Antiphon

In Jesus we have a great high priest who has pierced the heavens,

he shares fully in our weakness, except that he never sinned.

Blessed + be Adonai, the God of Israel,

Who visits this people to set us free

Raising for us a sign of salvation

In the house and family of David.

 

God promised throughout past ages

In words of holy prophets

To save us from our enemies,

And from the control of our oppressors.

 

Adonai favored our ancestors

And remembered the sacred covenant.

The pledge to Abraham and Sarah

Is now renewed for us;

 

That freed from the grip of our foes

We might worship without fear

And be both just and holy

For the rest of our days.

 

And you, child, called “prophet of the Most High,”

Will go ahead to prepare the way,

By teaching this people of salvation

Through forgiveness of their sins.

 

For the loving compassion of the Holy One

As the Rising Sun will shine upon us

To illumine the darkness and dispel death’s shadow

To Guide our feet on the way of peace.

 

Glory to the One and to the Word

and to the Breath of Love;

As always before s

o now and evermore. Amen

In Jesus we have a great high priest who has pierced the heavens,

he shares fully in our weakness, except that he never sinned.

SERVICE OF PRAYER

Litany of Intercession

You shared your life, your love, your bread and your dreams with Judas, while knowing he would betray you; ~bless us with unconditional love for all people, including those who hurt or betray us.

 

Your disciples followed a man carrying a water jar (Luke 22:10) to the house where you would celebrate Passover ~ bless  all those who carry water, those who offer hospitality to others, and those who work to prepare for the feasts.

 

You celebrated Passover with your disciples, re-living the Exodus of your people from slavery in Egypt; ~ bless our Jewish sisters and brothers who are celebrating Passover and help us work together Jews, Christians and Muslims, to end all forms of slavery and oppression.

 

You invite any who wish to be your disciples to take up their cross and follow you;

lead us on the way that leads through dying to all that is untrue and unnecessary to freedom and the fullness of life.

 

Prayer of Jesus

Our Father…

 

Closing Prayer

Gracious God of all Compassion, you sent Jesus as an example of unselfish love whose way of life would free us from sin and whose way of dying would destroy the power of death.  May our celebration of this Holy Week enable us to enter more deeply into the Mystery of his suffering, death, and burial,  so that we may more fully experience the new life and joy of his resurrection, both here on earth and in heaven where you live and love, One God, forever and ever.  Amen

Blessing

May the God of Compassion + bless and guide us as we follow Jesus on the way of the cross.  ~Amen.

 

Let us bless the world with peace.    ~And give thanks to God.