Six Good Friday Reflections
by David Runcorn
These brief reflections were prepared for a traditional three-hour vigil at the cross, but they could be spread through Holy Week. I suggest each could last 10-15 mins. Please use and adapt them in any way you find helpful. You may find it a help to have a cross and perhaps a lit candle as a focus. You do not need a specially made cross. You could use the image on this page (which I reflect on in the final meditation). Or a simple hand-drawn image or two twigs from the garden will be sufficient. There are prayers to close each reflection and space to add your own responses to the theme of the reflection. The suggested hymn verses are for singing or reading – or could be substituted.
The Verney Cross
This image of the cross was designed by Scilla Verney, an artist, who was herself dying of cancer at the time. The world is portrayed as split apart – painfully, sharply separated. That split can express anything that is fractured, separated and lost. Christ, in his own body, fills that contorted gap. His arms are thrust into the midst of it all. In his own being he holds it all together. This is our faith. This is where the world is now held In Christ. Nothing is outside of it. That is where all broken and separated things are found – in Christ. Nothing separates us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Where do you connect with these thoughts? You might pause and keep silence for a few moments.
Look, Father, look on His anointed face,
And only look on us as found in Him;
Look not on our misusings of Thy grace,
Our prayer so languid, and our faith so dim;
For lo! between our sins and their reward,
We set the passion of Thy Son our Lord. (William Bright)
Closing worship, reading and prayer
Hymn – to sing or read
O dearly, dearly has he loved
And we must love him too
And trust in his unfailing love
And try his works to do.
After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfil the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28-30
As this vigil at the cross comes to its close, take a moment to gather thoughts and insights that have particularly touched your heart and mind.
Pause and keep silence for a few moments.
The Lord’s Prayer in this or its traditional form
All Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
All 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,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Lord upon the cross
Our life giver, pain bearer, love maker
Open wide your arms to embrace our tortured world
that we may not turn away our eyes but abandon ourselves to your mercy
and so become life giving, pain bearing and love making signs of your kingdom,
For your name and glory’s sake.
We adore you O Christ and we bless you
For by your Holy Cross You have redeemed the world.
We are grateful to the Revd David Runcorn for permission to reproduce here material from his Six Good Friday Meditations. The Verney Cross was painted by Scilla Verney shortly before her death in 1974.