Good Friday Vespers

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit…

Opening Verse
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:21-24

Ant. Look well, all you people, and see my suffering.
Psalm 116:10-19
I believed that I would perish,
   I was brought very low :
 I said in my haste 'All men are liars.'
How shall I repay the Lord :
 for all his benefits to me?
I will take up the cup of salvation :
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord :
 in the presence of all his people.
Grievous in the sight of the Lord :
 is the death of his faithful ones.
O Lord, I am your servant,
   your servant and the son of your handmaid :
 you have unloosed my bonds.
I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving :
 and call upon the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord :
 in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the Lord :
 even in your midst, O Jerusalem.
   Praise the Lord.

Ant. Look well, all you people, and see my suffering.

Ant. My soul is in anguish, my heart is in torment.
Psalm 143:1-11
Hear my prayer, O Lord :
 in your faithfulness consider my petition,
   and in your righteousness give me answer.
Bring not your servant into judgement :
 for in your sight can no man living be justified.
For the enemy has pursued me,
   he has crushed my life to the ground :
 he has made me dwell in darkness, like those for ever dead.
Therefore my spirit grows faint :
 and my heart is appalled within me.
I remember the days of old, I think on all that you have done :
 I consider the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands toward you :
 my soul yearns for you like a thirsty land.
Be swift to hear me, O Lord, for my spirit fails :
 hide not your face from me,
   lest I be like those who go down to the Pit.
O let me hear of your merciful kindness in the morning,
   for my trust is in you :
 show me the way that I should go, for you are my hope.
Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord :
 for I run to you for shelter.
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God :
 let your kindly spirit lead me in an even path.
For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life :
 and for the sake of your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.

My soul is in anguish, my heart is in torment.

Ant. When Jesus had taken the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died.
Philippians 2:6-11
Though he was in the form of God,
   he did not regard equality with God
   as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
   taking the form of a slave,
   being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
   he humbled himself
   and became obedient to the point of death—
   even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him
   and gave him the name
   that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
   every knee should bend,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
   that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.

When Jesus had taken the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and died.

First Reading

Lamentations 3:1-9,19-33

I am one who has seen affliction
   under the rod of God’s wrath;
he has driven and brought me
   into darkness without any light;
against me alone he turns his hand,
   again and again, all day long.

He has made my flesh and my skin waste away,
   and broken my bones;
he has besieged and enveloped me
   with bitterness and tribulation;
he has made me sit in darkness
   like the dead of long ago.

He has walled me about so that I cannot escape;
   he has put heavy chains on me;
though I call and cry for help,
   he shuts out my prayer;
he has blocked my ways with hewn stones,
   he has made my paths crooked.

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
   is wormwood and gall!
My soul continually thinks of it
   and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
   and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
   his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
   ‘therefore I will hope in him.’

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
   to the soul that seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
   for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for one to bear
   the yoke in youth,
to sit alone in silence
   when the Lord has imposed it,
to put one’s mouth to the dust
   (there may yet be hope),
to give one’s cheek to the smiter,
   and be filled with insults.

For the Lord will not
   reject for ever.
Although he causes grief, he will have compassion
   according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict
   or grieve anyone.

A Song of Lamentation
Lamentations 1:12,16; 3:19,22-24,26

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? *
Look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow,
Which was brought upon me, *
inflicted by God's fierce anger.
For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears, *
for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage.
Remember my affliction and my bitterness, *
wormwood and gall!
The steadfast love of God never ceases, *
God's mercies never end.
They are new every morning; *
great is your faithfulness.
“God is my portion,” says my soul, *
“therefore will I hope in God.”
It is good that we should wait quietly *
for the coming of God's salvation.

Second Reading

John 19:38-42

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Collect of the Day
Good Friday
Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Today, we lovingly remember the death of our Lord Jesus Christ, from which was born new life for the whole world. Let us turn to God the Father and say:
By the merits of your Son's death, hear us, Lord.

Give unity to your Church. (R.)
Sanctify your people, both clergy and laity by your Spirit. (R.)
Increase faith and understanding in those under instruction. (R.)
Gather all Christians in unity. (R.)
Lead those who do not know you to the fulness of your redemption. (R.)
Enlighten with your glory those who not yet believe in Christ. (R.)
Show the marks of your love in creation to those who deny them, (R.)
Guide the minds and hearts of those who govern us. (R.)
Console all who are troubled. (R.)
Have pity on those who have died. (R.)

Lord's Prayer

Father, look with love upon your people, the love which the Lord Jesus Christ showed us when he delivered Himself to evil men and suffered the agony of the cross, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

Bow down before the Lord

May the life-giving cross
be the source of all our joy and peace. Amen.


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