Good Friday (Year C): Litany for Entering the Shadow

I’m deriving this litany primarily from the John 19 narrative, which is the Lectionary prescription. But Pilate washes his hands in Matthew 27 and not in John 19. 


God, today we remember the crucifixion of Christ,
His betrayal, suffering, death, and burial.
As we contemplate the narrative of Christ’s trial,
We imagine ourselves within it.

As we realize the ways we, like Peter, have denied the Christ,
In thought, in word, and in deed;
We observe a holy silence.
- Silence is kept -

As we observe the ways we, like Pilate, have washed our hands in pretense
But been complicit in evil’s unfolding;
We observe a holy silence.
- Silence is kept -

As we contemplate the ways we, like the mob, direct retribution toward one: a scapegoat,
And refusing personal responsibility,
We observe a holy silence.
- Silence is kept -

As Christ went down into darkness and shadow,
A breathless tomb, a soundless silence,
We follow faithfully, into shadowy places inside ourselves
We leave no stone unturned; no tomb unexamined. 

We give way to the silence, and to conviction,
Waiting in hope of redemption.
We wait,
And we remember. Amen


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