Jesus: My dear ones, in me this day you see all in life that you fear the most. I bear the suffering, injustice and brokenness of the world. I hold the great sorrow of affliction you have brought upon my gift of creation.

All: Jesus, we see your pain. We will not look away. We choose to bear with you this hurt that scars the universe. We repent of our actions and attitudes that cause your suffering. 

Jesus: Upon me this day is laid all the anguish and chaos that afflict the human community. Behold in my shattered body, the price of human dishonesty, illusion, and greed.

All: Jesus, we see the suffering inflicted by our self-serving attitudes and ways. We will not look away from the hurt of the human condition. We repent of our choices that have broken human community, fractured human flourishing, and wounded this earth.

Jesus: Look into my eyes. See my forsakenness. I hang here on the edge of a great abyss. I am alone, despised, forsaken. I know you have felt my abandonment and have shared my despair.

Jesus: Will you stand with me and not look away when life seems to be on the edge of a dark abyss?

All: Jesus we stand today by your cross. We see the darkness that covers the face of the earth. We are afraid. But we will not look away.

Jesus: I go now to my death. I give myself willingly into the great unknown. I make this journey for you, confident that hope lies only along this path of surrender.

All: Jesus, as you surrender your spirit, we pray that we may give up our demand that life conform to our wishes. We pray that our hearts may open to the beauty and love that you embodied in your life and death.

Jesus: Into your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit.

Hymn: My Song is Love Unknown 

Narrator: Many women were there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Jesus from Galilee and had provided for him. Among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Mary: This is my son I sheltered him in the nest of my womb. I nurtured him through his childhood and youth. I watched in astonishment as he grew into this beautiful man. Then
I watched him die.

All: Mary, we honour your tenderness and strength in the face of cruelty and death. We renounce the violence inflicted on your son. We embrace the gentleness we see in you.

Mary: There is no sadness like the unnatural pain of seeing your child die. I stand before this savage reality in a world that resists the love that was my son’s life. The world is fractured and out of joint. My heart cries out with all the pain I have witnessed.

All: Mary, we hope to find in our own hearts the depth of love you had for your son. We desire to be instruments of compassion and care in the world. We seek to bear with you this burden of pain.

Song:      Waha bi bi (My Lovely Son) Traditional Syrian Lament

as spoken by Mary to Jesus as his body is taken down from the cross

Oh my lovely son, what has happened to you?
Who is hurting you? You are the Saviour of the world.
What are your faults to be punished like this?
No sin has been made or hated by you.
Yet you are wounded and crucified, there is no cure for you.

When you were in the orchard at night,
and you were praying to God
and you knew everything that was to happen,
all the olive trees were praying and crying too,
but the people denied you and left you.

Mary: Weep not for my son. He did not die a victim. He gave himself as an offering of the love that beats at the heart of life. Stand with him now and know that he is the way through all this anguish.

All: We open to the source of healing, reconciliation, and peace in this broken world for which your son gave his life. We pray that through his death, we may find in our hearts, the power of love that brings new life.

Mary Magdalene: I know, now that he is dead, the world will make something of our love that it was not. There was nothing shameful in the love we shared. It was pure in the way only true and deep love can be pure. It was a love that shone like the face of God.

All: We repent of those times we have shamed others. We are sorry for the ways we have cheapened and diminished the purity of love. We seek to open our hearts to the bright purity of that love you shared with Jesus.

Mary Magdalene: I once was bound, but in his love I was made free. I know the light he carried will continue to shine in the world wherever hearts are open to the presence of his Spirit.

All: Mary we see your open heart. We desire to open our hearts to this power of love and to find the purity and truth that you experienced in the presence of this man the world could not embrace.

Song – “Create in me a clean heart O God”

Mary Magdalene: This loss cuts to the core of my being. He was all the beauty, truth and light I have ever seen. He lived from a deep well of spirit that I do not know if it is possible for me to find without his physical presence.

All: We understand loss. Our losses pile up all around us. We find it so hard to let go of all those people, things and habits to which we have always clung. We want to hold on. But we remember that in three days, Jesus to you, “Mary do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.”

Mary Magdalene: I know Jesus wants want me to understand that his death is not for sorrow. He died for life. He gave his life so that I might find in myself, the light I saw so brightly in his life. I look with in and long to find living there his beautiful spirit.

All: We join with you Mary Magdalene on this journey into the secret place of the heart. We trust that in the darkness within, we find the light of Christ.  In Jesus, we see beauty born through suffering. We experience truth that transcends all falsehood and injustice.
We sense our bond with you Mary Magdalene and rejoice at the bold witness to love that we see in you.