I have always found it helpful when someone helps me understand something unknown to me—something that is new. Dangerous words for the church, but sometimes changing a worship service can be uplifting. Often, we reach an unsurpassed depth in our relationship with God.
In today’s Food for the Flock I want to tell you about the Good Friday service. It will be on March 30 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of Good Shepherd. We will gather for Prayer Around the Cross. It is a solemn time of remembrance and reflection. The readings will focus on Jesus, the cross, and prayer. It is similar to what was done last year.
What can you expect? An opportunity to come away from the noise of life, to sit peacefully, hear familiar scripture passages and sing some Taizé chants. Taizé is a western European community of faith that uses repetitive chants or mantras to enter into a prayerful relationship with God. The simple music pushes aside our preoccupations and centers us. The chants are short; two lines that are sung several times over.
The silence of the service may be challenging for some and welcoming to others. Its main purpose is to provide a blank canvas that can be filled with Jesus’s journey to the cross. At the end of the service there will be an opportunity to light a candle and pray around the rugged cross that has been lashed together from Christmas trees, signifying the beginning and the ending of Jesus life.
In the practice and participation of Holy Week services it is my hope that our worshiping community will experience anew the journey with Jesus to the cross.