During this Holy Week, Oremus will feature the Passion according to St John over the course of the next six days. Take the time to read the story slowly, pausing to reflect.
A form of worship for the Easter Vigil can be found at the following blog: https://blogs.elca.org/worship/1801/
Christ bore our sins in his body on the cross,
that we might die to sin
and live for righteousness. 1 Peter 2:24
God, the origin and end of all,
you delivered everything
into the hands of your Christ
in whose death your purpose is accomplished.
Grant that through the Passover of Christ
all humanity may pass
from darkness into light
and from this world to you.
We ask this in his name,
who is alive, now and forever. Amen.
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,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
HYMN: Henry Francis Lyte
Tune: Eventide https://tinyurl.com/tsrreu3
1 Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide!
when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.
2 Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.
3 I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.
4 I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.
5 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies:
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me!
Psalm 88 (Anglican Chant: https://tinyurl.com/rjo5x3g)
1 O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee *
O let my prayer enter into thy presence, incline thine ear unto my calling.
2 For my soul is full of trouble *
and my life draweth nigh unto hell.
3 I am counted as one of them that go down into the pit *
and I have been even as a man that hath no strength.
4 Free among the dead, like unto them that are wounded, and lie in the grave *
who are out of remembrance, and are cut away from thy hand.
5 Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit *
in a place of darkness, and in the deep.
6 Thine indignation lieth hard upon me *
and thou hast vexed me with all thy storms.
7 Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me *
and made me to be abhorred of them.
8 I am so fast in prison *
that I cannot get forth.
9 My sight faileth for very trouble *
Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched forth my hands unto thee.
10 Dost thou shew wonders among the dead *
or shall the dead rise up again, and praise thee?
11 Shall thy loving-kindness be shewed in the grave *
or thy faithfulness in destruction?
12 Shall thy wondrous works be known in the dark *
and thy righteousness in the land where all things are forgotten?
13 Unto thee have I cried, O Lord *
and early shall my prayer come before thee.
14 Lord, why abhorrest thou my soul *
and hidest thou thy face from me?
15 I am in misery, and like unto him that is at the point to die *
even from my youth up thy terrors have I suffered with a troubled mind.
16 Thy wrathful displeasure goeth over me *
and the fear of thee hath undone me.
17 They came round about me daily like water *
and compassed me together on every side.
18 My lovers and friends hast thou put away from me *
and hid mine acquaintance out of my sight.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,*
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
where we are plunged into the darkness of despair,
make known to us the wonders of your grace,
for you alone are God
and from you comes all our help and strength.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE WORD OF GOD
Reading: Lamentations 3:22-40, 48-58
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.
When all the prisoners of the land
are crushed under foot,
when human rights are perverted
in the presence of the Most High,
when one’s case is subverted
—does the Lord not see it?
Who can command and have it done,
if the Lord has not ordained it?
Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
that good and bad come?
Why should any who draw breath complain
about the punishment of their sins?
Let us test and examine our ways,
and return to the Lord.
My eyes flow with rivers of tears
because of the destruction of my people.
My eyes will flow without ceasing,
until the Lord from heaven
looks down and sees.
My eyes cause me grief
at the fate of all the young women in my city.
Those who were my enemies without cause
have hunted me like a bird;
they flung me alive into a pit
and hurled stones on me;
water closed over my head;
I said, ‘I am lost.’
I called on your name, O Lord,
from the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear
to my cry for help, but give me relief!’
You came near when I called on you;
you said, ‘Do not fear!’
HYMN: Johann von Rist, trans. Catherine Winkworth
Tune: O Traurigkeit https://tinyurl.com/qpjz87n
1 O darkest woe!
Ye tears, forth flow!
Has earth so sad a wonder?
God the Father’s only Son
Now is buried yonder.
2 O sorrow dread!
God’s Son is dead!
But by His expiation
Of our guilt upon the cross
Gained for us salvation.
3 O sinful man!
It was the ban
Of death on thee that brought Him
Down to suffer for thy sins
And such woe hath wrought Him.
4 Lo, stained with blood,
The Lamb of God,
The Bridegroom, lies before thee,
Pouring out His life that He
May to life restore thee.
5 O Ground of faith,
Laid low in death,
Sweet lips. now silent sleeping!
Surely all that live must mourn
Here with bitter weeping.
6 O blest shall be
Who oft in faith will ponder
Why the glorious Prince of Life
Should be buried yonder.
7 O Jesus blest,
My Help and Rest,
With tears I now entreat Thee:
Make me love Thee to the last,
Till in heaven I greet Thee.
Reading: Romans 8:1-11
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
HYMN: Fanny Crosby
Tune: Assurance https://tinyurl.com/sqeg4oe
1 Blessèd assurance, Jesus is mine:
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God;
born of his Spirit, washed in his blood:
This is my story, this is my song,
praising my Saviour all the day long.
2 Perfect submission, perfect delight,
visions of rapture burst on my sight;
angels descending bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love: [Refrain]
3 Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Saviour am happy and blest —
watching and waiting, looking above,
filled with his goodness, lost in his love: [Refrain]
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.
1. Man that is born of a woman
hath but a short time to live,
and is full of misery.
He cometh up, and is cut down like a flower;
he fleeth as it were a shadow,
and ne’er continueth in one stay.
2. In the midst of life we are in death:
of whom may we seek for succour,
but of thee, O Lord,
who for our sins art justly displeased?
Yet, O Lord, O Lord most mighty,
O holy and most merciful Saviour,
deliver us not into the bitter pains
of eternal death.
3. Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts;
shut not thy merciful ears unto our pray’rs;
but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty.
O holy and most merciful Saviour,
thou most worthy Judge eternal,
suffer us not, at our last hour,
for any pains of death, to fall from thee. Amen.
The following prayers are taken from the Burial Office, Rite I in The Book of Common Prayer. They are not prayers said for Jesus, for Jesus is risen and alive. They are being offered this day in memory of all the departed, especially those who have recently died in the wake of COVID-19.
In peace, let us pray to the Lord.
Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one
communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son
Christ our Lord: Grant, we beseech thee, to thy whole
Church in paradise and on earth, thy light and thy peace.
Grant that all who have been baptized into Christ’s death and
resurrection may die to sin and rise to newness of life, and
that through the grave and gate of death we may pass with
him to our joyful resurrection. Amen.
Grant to us who are still in our pilgrimage, and who walk as
yet by faith, that thy Holy Spirit may lead us in holiness and
righteousness all our days. Amen.
Grant to thy faithful people pardon and peace, that we may
be cleansed from all our sins, and serve thee with a quiet
Grant to all who mourn a sure confidence in thy fatherly
care, that, casting all their grief on thee, they may know the
consolation of thy love. Amen.
Give courage and faith to those who are bereaved, that they
may have strength to meet the days ahead in the comfort of a
reasonable and holy hope, in the joyful expectation of eternal
life with those they love. Amen.
Help us, we pray, in the midst of things we cannot understand,
to believe and trust in the communion of saints, the forgiveness
of sins, and the resurrection to life everlasting. Amen.
Grant us grace to entrust the departed to thy never-failing love; receive
them into the arms of thy mercy, and remember them according
to the favor which thou bearest unto thy people. Amen.
Grant that, increasing in knowledge and love of thee, they may
go from strength to strength in the life of perfect service in
thy heavenly kingdom. Amen.
Grant us, with all who have died in the hope of the
resurrection, to have our consummation and bliss in thy
eternal and everlasting glory, and, with all thy saints,
to receive the crown of life which thou dost
promise to all who share in the victory of thy Son Jesus
Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy
Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death
between your judgment and our souls,
now and in the hour of our death.
Give mercy and grace to the living;
pardon and rest to the dead;
to your holy Church peace and concord;
and to us sinners everlasting life and glory;
for with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.
May we find in the cross
a sure ground for faith,
a firm support for hope,
and the assurance of sins forgiven. Amen.